With 2002 happily in the rearview mirror, many signs point to a far more lucrative times for the ship and boatbuilding industries of the world, with a surge in offshore business leading the way. With many lucrative potential projects on the board in the Gulf of Mexico and abroad, ship and boat builders large and small are counting on increased offshore drilling opportunities to lead the way to prosperity in 2003.
In a recent story published by Reuters, Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. officials are quoted as saying the offshore engineering orders will rise by more than a third -- to $1.5 billion -- making it a major plank in the plans of the world's largest shipbuilder
. HHI is said to have booked about $1.1 billion in new orders in this niche in 2002, and it notes that many large projects are currently in the bid process.