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Koreans bag over $5bn orders at Posidonia

Koreans bag over $5bn orders at Posidonia

Athens: Korean shipbuilders have confirmed at Posidonia they have hauled in orders worth more than $5bn. News of the business added a further buzz to the exhibition. The world's three largest yards all snared deals with 34 ships with STX snagging two too.

Even for the record-breaking Greek event cementing deals on this scale is unusual. But as one Athens-based analyst said: "While the deals have been on the table for sometime, Posidonia offered the perfect place to bring the parties together to put pen to paper."

Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipbuilder, confirmed deals worth $2.4bn to build 22 tankers including nine 158,000dwt suezmaxes with Alba Maritime worth $837m. Former Stelmar Tankers cfo, Stamatis Molaris has also been linked to suezmax tankers at Hyundai HI and. Molaris, Excel's ceo, refused to comment "on rumours and speculation".

Other ships booked include six VLCCs, a further five suezmaxes and two aframaxes.

Meanwhile, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering has inked deals for $2.5bn. Though no names were revealed the bulk of the business is known to have come from Greeks who already have a staggering 1,050-plus ships on orders, many of them in South Korea.

Chairman of Intertanko, Nicos Fistes, was linked to certain orders. Though it could not be confirmed the company he heads, Grand Union, has placed a firm order, it has reportedly been closing in on a major deal for some weeks, involving up to nine suezmax tankers worth $850m.

Samsung Heavy Industries signed a contract for a pair of aframaxes at the show, with two more still under negotiation. Speculation suggested regular client Cardiff Marine was behind the order.

STX Shipbuilding has landed contracts to build two VLCCs, to be delivered to European owners by 2010-11. "We have seen a lot of interest in out new 22,000teu containership and we hope that this will see good take up," said Jin Baek, a member of the STX Coproration marketing team.

Finally, while Hanjin Heavy Industries has not garnered any contracts from the show as yet, it appreciates the important of this market and will set up a Greek office later this year. It has already received approval from the Greek government and is now handling the logistics of the move.