Shipbuilders Cash In on Special Vessels

Monday, November 21, 2005
According to reports, South Korean shipbuilders are profiting more from selling high-value units such as offshore plants and liquid gas carriers than ever. Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, already has won a record-high $7 billion in building orders this year, which exceeds last year's record of $6.6 billion. Such high performance was largely affected by the sales of four offshore oilrig units, which amounted to $1.9 billion in total. The company also has recorded steady sales of LNG carriers, capped with a $430-million order for a pair of LNG carriers from a Norwegian company last month.

Hyundai Heavy Industry is benefiting from oil prices and an increase in the demand for gas energy. It has won contracts to build 16 large liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers this year, taking around 60 percent of worldwide market share. The company currently has a backlog of 32 vessels and has delivered 36 LPG carriers worldwide. Besides the satisfying results with LNG ships, Daewoo's growth in oil rig sales is even more encouraging. The company won only one offshore plant order last year. They sold seven units each in 2000 and 2001, but all of those contracts were relatively small, amounting only $550 million in total. The largest contract of this year, which was made in February, was a $978-million order to build a floating oil production, storage and offshore loading (FPSO) facility for Star Deep Water Petroleum, a Nigerian unit of Chevron Texaco. Then Okpo, a South Kyongsang province-based company won an order for a $500-million semi-submersible drilling rig for the Norwegian company Seadrill in September, and was awarded a $480-million contract to build two oil-drilling vessels for Singapore-based Frigstad Offshore. The sales of the offshore plants account for 28 percent of Daewoo's total orders this year. The future also looks bright for the company as it sees that there will be around 20 more orders for offshore oil plants over next two to three years due to soaring oil prices. Source: Korea Times

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