While Korea’s mid-sized shipyards were especially hard hit by the slowdown associated to COVID-19, the Daehan Shipbuilding Co. is making a number of steps to expand its business. The company’s success comes just a few years after it was in receivership and many thought the yard might be merged into Daewoo which was already providing management.
In its latest move, Daehan announced it will be developing a new design for small-size LPG carriers. The company entered in to a joint development project with DNV GL to design this new class of vessel.
Citing tightened emission regulations and a shale gas boom, the company said in announcing this new joint project that it anticipates an increase in demand for LPG and LNG carriers. A hike in freight rates is also expected to stimulate the growth in LPG carriers. To keep pace with this industrial trend and seize opportunities, DHSC said it has decided to diversify from its current business in crude and product tankers and start to develop LPG carriers.
“DHSC already established its position as a reliable shipbuilder with the capability to build different ship types other than gas carriers. As the industry is changing rapidly, we are now strengthening our competitiveness by developing LPG carriers and show our technological competence to ship owners,” said Mr. Dae-Seong Jeong, DHSC President & CEO.
With the agreement, DNV and Daehan will commence a four-month project focusing on gas carriers. DNV GL will review the basic and detailed designs for the vessels in accordance with the relevant rules and regulations as well as provide technical advice and recommendations to help enhance the design development.
“For decades, DNV GL has led the way in the gas carrier segment, working in partnership with stakeholders to improve vessel performance. We are the most appropriate partner for DHSC’s new challenge, and we anticipate a fruitful result for both parties,” said Vidar Dolonen, DNV GL Regional Manager Korea & Japan.
According to a report released by the Korea Eximbank Overseas Economic Research Institute, Korea’s mid-sized shipbuilders saw a nearly 40 percent decline in orders in the first half of 2020. Korea lost half of its mid-sized shipbuilders in the past decade with currently just seven in operation. Collectively their backlogs were down 15 percent in 2020. Daehan recently received additional working capital from the Koreans banks to help it manage through the current slowdown in new orders while the yard has continued to deliver on its existing tanker orders. Traditionally, Korea’s mid-sized shipyards focus on ships under 100,000 DWT.
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