Korea’s shipbuilding industry is still having difficulty in getting out of the trap of excessive investment. Massive shipyards, plants, and capacities that were built during the boom time of the shipbuilding market remain idle today as new orders became rare today.
The excessive capacities of the nation’s top-three shipbuilders, namely Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, and Samsung Heavy Industries, are problematic but the situation is worse for the nation’s mid-sized shipyards which jumped into the shipbuilding business in the early and mid-2000s.
Just before the Lunar New Year’s holidays, there was an exemplary case which showed how serious the excessive capacity problem is for the nation’s mid-sized shipyards.
A 700-ton Goliath crane that Sungdong Shipbuilding installed at its Masan Shipyard in 2008 was sold to a Romanian shipyard through the Masan port, after the Korean shipyard was closed. Sungdong Shipbuilding attempted to sell the giant crane to a domestic shipyard but there was none who wanted to purchase it.
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