The merger of South Korean shipbuilders Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) will have an immediate impact on research and speed up the development of new designs said Hyundai Mipo Dockyard president and chief executive H D Shin
Mr Shin was speaking to Tanker Shipping & Trade after the naming ceremony for Marinvest and Waterfront Shipping’s two new methanol-powered 49,000-dwt product chemical tankers Mari Couva and Mari Kokako.
He said the merger was progressing and a report would be issued later in the year. The plan has been submitted to the local authorities and to international bodies that have a expressed a concern regarding the impact on competition in the shipbuilding sector. This includes authorities in China, Japan, US and the EU, among others.
“It is a step-by-step process. This is the joining together of the number one and number two shipyards in the world. These bodies need to be satisfied there will be fair competition,” he said.
He would not be drawn on how the two shipbuilders would split up work, such as one yard concentrating on tankers and another on dry bulk carriers or if they would continue to compete for projects. He noted that HHI and DSME are very similar organisations and a large portion of time and effort in both companies is spent on research and development. The merger will provide an immediate benefit to customers as joining the research departments and sharing knowledge will speed the development of new designs and shipbuilding techniques.
The merger was originally scheduled for the end of 2019 but achieving the global clearances may run into Q1 2020. The two groups may also maintain separate identities after the merger as both shipbuilders have repeat clients whose loyalty is highly valued.