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South Korea to pump $545M into next-gen shipbuilding tech, carbon-free fuels

South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) has revealed its plans to invest KRW 710 billion ($545 million) into next-generation shipbuilding technology and carbon-free fuels.

Illustration only; Courtesy of DSME

As informed, the announcement was made at the emergency economy ministerial meeting and the exports and investment promotion meeting. The new strategy “K-Shipbuilding Strategy for Next-Generation Market Dominance” aims to respond to internal and external challenges for Korea in the next-generation shipbuilding market.

Specifically, MOTIE plans to seize over 80% of the next-generation shipbuilding market through the following three policy directions:

  • claim the future technology super gap,
  • advance and upgrade the manufacturing system,
  • establish legal and system infrastructure and inject a $545 million budget by 2028.

First, the ministry will launch technological development and demonstration projects on three major carbon-free fuel sources (LNG, ammonia, hydrogen) and push for early commercialization of autonomous self-navigating ships.

Furthermore, it will also train over 3,000 personnel, and seek technology collaboration with overseas partners.

For establishing an innovative manufacturing system with heightened productivity, MOTIE will invest in building smart shipyards and the distribution of robotics to realize the digital transformation (DX), while also improving the visa system based on mid-to-long term projections on foreign manpower demand.

As part of the strategy, the country will also support entrance into overseas markets and technology development for the self-sustainability of small and medium-sized shipbuilders and the materials and equipment industry.

In addition, the ministry plans to improve the financial support infrastructure, strengthen cooperation with large corporations, SMEs, upstream and downstream industries to accelerate sustainable growth.

Moreover, laws on “Promotion of Industrialization and Technological Innovation of the Next-Generation Shipbuilding Industry” will be developed to expand exports and boost shipbuilding industry.

MOTIE’s Vice Minister Youngjin Jang emphasized that “with the global shipbuilding industry’s upturn adding tailwind to Korea’s shipbuilding industry, we expect to see great opportunities for making a rebound and new leaps.”

To remind, 2022 for South Korean shipbuilders was a very successful year when it comes to orders for the construction of the vessels.

The country’s builders won 58 percent of the total ordering tally for eco-friendly vessels.

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