South Korea is looking to boost its shipbuilding industry including the construction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels after the industry suffered big losses last year.
This was revealed during a visit of president Moon Jae-in on January 3 to Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering’s Okpo Shipyard in Geoje.
Moon gave a speech on the deck of the recently named ice-breaking LNG carrier Vladimir Rusanov praising the Korean shipbuilding industry and announcing new measures to revive Korea’s shipbuilding sector, which has been hit heavily by a prolonged global slump.
South Korea is a giant in the LNG shipbuilding industry and most of the global fleet has been built by the country’s shipyards.
The LNG carrier the president visited is jointly owned by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and China COSCO Shipping and will serve the recently commissioned Novatek-operated Yamal LNG project in the Russian Arctic.
In his speech, he underlined the technological capabilities and competitiveness of Korean shipbuilders, saying that “Korea can become a global shipbuilding leader once again.”
The South Korean president said the government will fully support the shipbuilding industry to secure more orders, particularly for LNG tankers, a statement by the president’s office said.
According to local media reports, he also said the government would help local shipowners willing to order newbuilds powered by “environmentally friendly” fuels such as LNG.
The reports suggest that the government aims to offer a $1.9 billion program to boost the private sector’s orders for LNG-fueled newbuilds in a push for green shipping and to comply with the International Maritime Organization’s sulfur cap.
LNG World News Staff