S. Korea to provide liquidity support to struggling shipping firms
A state-run maritime business promotion corporation said it will provide liquidity support for cash-strapped shipping firms and fund eco-friendly projects.
The Korea Ocean Business Corp. (KOBC) said it will provide 138 billion won (US$121.9 million) worth of guarantees for four shipping companies to help them build liquefied natural gas-propelled ships and purchase other vessels.
Among them are Korea Line Corp. SK Shipping Co., H-Line Shipping Co. and Polaris Shipping Co.
The KOBC will also invest 16 billion won in two shipping companies to help them build eco-friendly ships and provide 57 billion won worth of liquidity through a sale and lease back program for seven small shipping companies.
The liquidity support from the fledgling corporation is part of the government’s efforts to revive the nation’s slumping maritime industry in the wake of Hanjin Shipping Co.’s bankruptcy in 2016.
The KOBC was launched in July as the shipbuilding industry, once regarded as the backbone of the country’s economic growth and job creation, has been reeling in the face of an industrywide slump and increased costs.
The nation’s Big 3 shipyards — Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. and Samsung Heavy Industries Co. — have been forced to undergo sweeping self-rescue programs worth 11 trillion won since 2016.