South Korean shipbuilders, led by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., are estimated to have clinched a record number of new shipbuilding orders in the first half of the year, with their combined tally more than doubling from a year earlier, industry data showed Monday.
Hyundai Heavy and other local shipyards have bagged orders worth a combined 2.56 million compensated gross tons (CGTs) in the January-June period, accounting for 34 percent of the total orders placed around the globe, according to the data compiled by industry tracker Clarkson Research.
It marked the first time since 2012 that South Korea was in the top slot in terms of new orders.
But late last month, a Chinese shipyard clinched a deal to build four LNG carriers for an estimated $187 million apiece, which could dethrone South Korea in the first-half new order tally list.
Hyundai Heavy and its affiliates have secured a series of new contracts, with their new orders reaching US$4.2 billion to build 72 ships in the first six months of the year.
Their first-half orders represent a whopping increase from a meager $1 billion and 13 vessels a year earlier.
Hyundai Heavy and its two affiliates — Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co. and Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co — met some 60 percent of their annual order target of $7.5 billion.
In the January-June period, Samsung Heavy Industries Co., another local shipyard, secured $4.8 billion worth of new orders to build 13 ships, including two offshore plants.
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., a troubled shipyard, clinched $770 million worth of new orders to build seven ships in the first half of the year.
Local shipyards are expecting to win more orders down the road.
Hyundai Heavy is set to sign deals valued at a combined $2.7 billion soon, and Samsung Heavy is also seeking to clinch a deal to build two shuttle oil tankers.