South Korea to place orders for 200 vessels by 2020

SOUTH Korea's Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries is to place orders for
about 200 vessels over the next three years to help the ailing
shipping and shipbuilding industry tide over weak global demand.

The ministry unveiled the mid-term restructuring plan for the nation's
shipbuilding and shipping sector, which has been undergoing a bruising
time following massive losses and Hanjin Shipping Co's bankruptcy in
2016, reports Yonhap News Agency.

"Following the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping, sales of South Korea's
shipping industry were cut by over KWR10 trillion (US$9.3 billion),
and the tonnage of the deep sea containers has been cut in half,"
Oceans Minister Kim Young-choon said in a meeting of economic-related
ministers. "We have prepared a set of comprehensive measures to
support the shipping and shipbuilding industries grappling with a
protracted slump, intense competition and environmental regulations."

The plan is to build 140 bulk carriers and 60 containers, which
include 20,000 TEU mega vessels and eight 140,000 TEU ships.

The ministry said it will establish a maritime industry promotion
agency in July to support placing orders for new ships in the form of
investment or guaranteeing the ship purchase programme.

Hyundai Merchant Marine Co, the nation's leading ocean-going shipping
company, currently handles 330,000 TEU, the 14th-largest capacity in
the world. The ship purchase plan is expected to raise Hyundai
Merchant's shipping capacity to 1 million TEU by 2020, the ministry