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Ship Orders Unhalted By Industrial Unrest

South Korea continues to win ship orders despite its current political problems and industrial unrest. The South Korean shipbuilding industry received foreign shipbuilding orders last year totaling 6.9 million grt, down from 7.1 million grt in 1995, according to the Korean Shipbuilders Association. Ships built during 1996 for foreign owners totaled 7.7 million grt compared with a previous figure of 5.7 million grt, while outstanding orders stand at 13.1 million grt, down 13.8 million grt. Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) said it aims to receive orders on an overall basis worth approximately $9 billion in 1997, up from $6.8 billion in 1996. The company said shipbuilding orders for 1997 are expected to reach $3.4 billion, compared with $2.2 billion in 1996. The company has set its export target at $3.6 billion for 1997, up 10.3 percent over 1996 levels.

Orders foi\ South Korea during the first pai%, of this year have included a $4^, million, 172,000- dwt dry bulk cEufcrier for Norway's Bergesen from Soath Korea's HHI. The ice-class vessel will be chartered to British Stee\, for 15 years, the first long-term charter secured by Bergesen with the tf,K. company \ Samsung Heavy Industries has secured a breakthrough, in the crude carrier newbuilding market by sealing its first export contact for tankers of ULCC size. Under the deal, which involves New York, investment bank Cambridge Partners, two, 308,000-dwt crude carriers will be built for operation by Chevron Shipping, marking the first of the San Francisco-based oil group's planned large tanker replacements. Deliveries are scheduled for late 1998 and early 1999, respectively, with construction to be undertaken in the Koje Island yard's No. 3 dock.

Meanwhile, Japan's NYK has placed an order with SHI for the construction of a 105,000-dwt Aframax tanker. This is in addition to two vessels already on order from Samsung. The vessel is due for delivery at the beginning 1999.

South Korean operator Pan Ocean Shipping has .^'provided Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) with an entry into deepsea vessel newbuilding rifarket. HMD's contract calls fof the construction of two geared- bulkers of approximately 30,000 dwt.More details have now been released regarding HMD's Vietnam project, which comprises a new shipbuilding and repair yard to be located at My Giang Village in Ninh Hoa district. The yard, named Hyundai-Vinashin thipyard, is a joint venture ptween HMD and Vietnanj- Sftipbuilding Industry Cor^. (Vinashin), and will comprise a 400,000-dwt graving dock for repairs and conversions, as well as an 80,000-dwt newbuilding dock.

The yarckis scheduled to become fully operational by March 1998. Hanjin Shipping has increased its post-Panamax containership program with two more (the sixth and siprtrenth) of the 5,300-TEU Hardin London class, and is — ring ordering another wo sisterships. The two firm additions to the orderbook at Hanjin Heavy Industries' Pusan yard are due for completion in late* 1998 and early 1999, respectively. The 4,000-TEU Ville de Orion has been delivered by South Korea's Daewoo Industries (DHI). The vessel was ordered in October 1995 and will be on longterm charter to CMA from German owners Conti Reederei, with the option to purchase. Green Ocean Bulk Shipping, a joint vent u r e between Australian mining group BHP and Japan's K-Line, has taken delivery of a new 169,900- dwt bulk carrier, Saraji Trader, from DHI.

With regard to overseas investments, DHI has finalized a $53 million deal giving it a majority stake in Romania's 2 Mai Shipyard in Mangalia. Local opposition, which threatened to thwart the plan, was overcome by a pledge to maintain newbuilding activity in addition to repair. DHI's prop o s a l to take 51 percent in the enterprise was criticized, mainly by those fearful of increasing domination of Romanian industry.

Daedong Shipbuilding is hoping to clinch an export deal for its shipyard at Chinhae, which was just commissioned in 1996. Worth an estimated $100 million, the project calls for the construction of three product tankers in the 40,000 to 45,000-dwt range for Russian operator Primorsk Shipping.

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