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Korean owners to set up shiprepair venture

Busan:  Seven mid-size Korea-based owners have formed a consortium to set up a 185,000sq mtr shiprepair yard in western Busan.  The group, consisting of Korea Marine Transport, Nam Sung Shipping, Korea Line Corp, Pan Continental Shipping, Sunwoo Shipping, KSS Line Shipping and Hyopsung Shipping, has submitted a business plan for the Busan New Port Repairing Shipyard Corporation to the country's transport ministry.

The owners claimed that existing local shipyard were unable to repair ships longer than 170 metres. "Even though Korea is a shipbuilding powerhouse, its shipping agencies have to send its middle-to-large scale ships in need of repair to other Asian nations including China and Vietnam," the consortium said in its proposal.

"Since no Korean shipyard is capable of examining and repairing large ships, Korea has no choice but to waste a large amount of foreign currencies. Also, there is a risk that shipbuilding technologies would be leaked in the repairing process."

However, critics of the proposal have pointed out that high costs (particularly for labour) may continue to give china and Vietnam the advantage over domestic yards.  [15/07/08]

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