S. Korea: Russian shipper may place order for 4 oil tankers – report

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Russia’s state-owned shipping line Sovcomflot may award its oil tanker shipbuilding deal to a South Korean shipbuilder in the near future, with its management recently visiting Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and Samsung Heavy Industries Co., industry sources said.

According to the report from global shipping industry tracker Tradewinds and industry sources, top management from Sovcomflot held a series of meetings with the two Korean shipyards last month, as the Russian firm is set to place an order for four oil tankers.

During the trip, the Russian delegation, led by chief executive Sergey Frank, is believed to have held in-depth talks with the two firms, the sources said.

“It is definitely (a Korean shipbuilder) to win the order. The remaining question is which firm, Samsung or Hyundai, will get it,” said an industry source.

The deal can fetch $200 million, and the finalized deal may be announced before the end of the year or early next year, they said.

Meanwhile, Samsung Heavy is also among potential winners for Russia’s Yamal project which uses shuttle LNG ships to transport natural gas produced in the North Sea to Europe and Asia, the sources said.

This time, an order for some 4 LNG shuttle ships is expected to be placed soon, they said.

The country’s major shipyards have been struggling with falling new orders while suffering massive losses stemming from a delay in the construction of offshore facilities.

The nation’s big three shipyards, including Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., racked up a combined loss of over 8 trillion won last year. It was the first time that all three of the nation’s largest industry players registered losses.

Hyundai Heavy and Samsung Heavy managed to return to black in the third quarter, but Daewoo Shipbuilding continued to suffer losses.

Source: Yonhap

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