SEOUL – South Korea’s industry ministry said Monday it will seek ways to provide financial assistance for shipbuilders and their parts makers to help them develop new technologies and win new orders in the global market.
The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy said it will announce comprehensive measures to revitalize the shipbuilding industry next month, which has suffered weak demand and financial problems.
Local parts makers have grappled with funding due to low credit ratings and high debt ratios amid prolonged industry slump. Some small companies have even missed opportunities to win contracts due to a lack of liquidity, despite their advanced marine equipment technologies.
“We will come up with measures with related organizations to prevent companies with eco-friendly technologies from losing contracts due to financial problems,” Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo said during his visit to Panasia, a local marine company based in the southeastern port city of Busan.
Sung also said the government will play a bridging role between major shipbuilders and local parts makers to jointly develop innovative vessels, including eco-friendly and autonomous ships.
According to British research firm Clarksons Research, three Korean shipbuilders have clinched 38 contracts for large ships propelled by liquefied natural gas in the first eight months of this year, accounting for 88 percent of the total.