South Korea officially excluded Japan from its list of trade partners affecting the latter’s fast-track approvals in trade, meaning that South Korean companies will now have to submit five documents to win individual approval, which is more than the previous three, Yonhap news agency reports.
Following years of dwindling shipbuilding orders, South Korea retained the top spot in global shipbuilding orders for the fourth consecutive month in the row in August, according to data provided by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy released on Sunday.
South Korean shipbuilders are giving emphasis on improving their competitiveness in environmentally friendly vessels, including LNG-fueled ships, with the IMO 2020 sulphur cap applying on January 1st. LNG fueled ships are expected to account for over 60% of the worldwide new shipbuilding orders by 2025.
South Korea’s top three shipyards, Hyundai Heavy Industries Group, Samsung Heavy Industries Co. and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., have received an overall US$12.1 billion won worth of orders, during the first eight months of 2019. This marks a 21.3% reduction from the previous year.
Japan’s cabinet on Friday approved a plan to remove South Korea from a “white list” of trusted trading partners, escalating the already damaged diplomatic relations between the two states in regard to wartime reparations. In response, South Korean government also revealed plans to remove Japan from its own white list.
The South Korean Government announced plans for investments in 12 ports across the country. The expansion plans include the development of Busan as a mega-port, and the expansion of cargo handling capacity of the ports. The overall investment will reach the cost of 41.8 trillion ($35.2 billion).
The two major mergers of South Korean Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and DSME, and Chinese shipyards China Shipbuilding Industry Corp. and China State Shipbuilding Corp., are expected to control nearly half of the global shipbuilding market, forging a new reality for the global shipping industry.
South Korea was the first to publicly sign the American plan of sending a naval unit in the Middle East aiming to boost safety and guard the oil tankers transmitting through the strait of Hormuz, according to Reuters.
Several mergers between Chinese shipbuilders are putting South Korean mid-size companies, which are already struggling, into risk. Because of these mergers, are medium-sized Korean shipyards worry that they could lose deals to construct oil tankers to Chinese companies, like it happened for bulk carriers.
Equinor, Korea National Oil Corporation and the Korean power company Korea East-West Power have established a consortium to develop the floating offshore wind project Donghae 1 off Ulsan in South Korea. The consortium is now starting the development of a 200MW floating wind farm, which will be located near to the KNOC-operated Donghae natural gas field off the coast of Ulsan in South Korea.
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