A flurry of crude oil carrier orders for Korean shipbuilders surpasses $1 billion

Korean shipbuilding heavyweights have amassed over $1.06 billion in crude carrier orders in a single day having reported shipbuilding contracts for a total of 13 newbuilds.

Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering has won orders for ten 300,000 ton very large crude carriers (VLCCs) worth $890 million (KRW 985.7 billion), the shipbuilder said on Tuesday.

The company’s Hyundai Heavy Industries brand will be in charge of building seven VLCCs, while Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries has been entrusted with building three VLCC units.

The identity of the Oceania-based company behind the order has not been revealed.

The newbuilds are slated for delivery in August 2023.

Separately, South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries has won a contract to build three crude carriers worth $175 million (KRW 194.6 billion).

The shipbuilder didn’t disclose the buyer behind the contract, revealing solely that the company is based in Oceania.

Samsung Heavy Industries is expected to win additional orders as the deal includes options for two more, according to a report from the Korean media outlet the Pulse News.

The three Suezmaxes are scheduled for delivery in early 2023, the shipbuilder said in a regulatory filing.

SHI’s net sales currently stand at $6.6 billion (KRW 7.3 trillion).

The contracts are being reported as ordering of newbuilds picks up speed on the back of major breakthroughs on the vaccine development front heralding a potential return to normalcy and a rebound of global economies.

Covid-19 pandemic has put the shipbuilding industry in dire straits, especially in the first half of the year as owners steered away from investments in new ships amid market uncertainties and restricted access to capital.

Based on the data from VesselsValue, in the first half of 2020 there were around 332 new ship orders across all sectors, a 47% fall when compared to a total of 625 orders in H1 2019 across all sectors.

Similarly, data from Clarksons Research Service shows that a total of 269 ships were ordered during the January-June 2020 period.