Competition among the big three Korean shipbuilders is intensifying as the shipbuilding industry is expected to recover, led by the LNG carrier segment.
Samsung Heavy Industries ranked second in the world in terms of order backlog in February, said Clarkson Research, a U.K. shipping industry analyst, on March 25.
As of the end of February, the order backlog of Samsung Heavy Industries stood at 4,903,000 compensated gross tonnage (GTT), the second largest following Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) with 5,846,000 CGT. Samsung Heavy Industries stood at No. 3 until January but switched its position with Hyundai Heavy Industries by performing remarkably well in landing LNG carrier orders since February.
LNG tanker orders in the first two months of 2019 were six units for Samsung Heavy Industries, three for DSME and one for Hyundai Heavy Industries. Samsung Heavy Industries received another order for an LNG carrier worth 215.4 billion won from an Asian shipowner on Feb. 22, winning orders for seven vessels this year.
Samsung Heavy Industries and DSME reached 17 percent and 13 percent of their 2019 targets. Hyundai Heavy Industries recorded 3.3 percent by the end of February. However, "It is difficult to predict order-winning performances by checking their results in the early period of 2019," an industry official said. "Hyundai Heavy Industries is a force to be reckoned with as the company still has power as the only Korean shipbuilder that reached its order target last year."
On the other hand, a recovery in the Korean heavy and shipbuilding industries began to create new jobs since the beginning of 2019 after a long hiatus. Six major companies in the Korean shipbuilding and heavy industries had recruited or were recruiting new workers in the first half of this year, said job information company Incruit on March 25.