Samsung Heavy Industries Co., a major South Korean shipbuilder, is aiming to clinch orders worth more than US$6 billion this year, its head said.
Park Dae-young, president and CEO of the shipbuilder, also said that this year will be a crucial point for his company’s survival at a time when local shipbuilders are suffering from an industry-wide slump and economic slowdown.
“We raised this year’s target for new orders, compared with $5.3 billion set for last year,” Park told reporters on the sidelines of the new year’s meeting of businessmen in the shipbuilding sector.
Park said that the company had a project with a contract certain to be clinched this year.
On Jan. 5, Samsung Heavy said that it has won a $1.27 billion deal to build an offshore facility, marking the first mega deal of this year for ailing South Korean shipbuilders.
Samsung Heavy is among South Korean shipbuilders which have been under severe financial strains in the face of falls in new orders amid falling oil prices. They are also struggling to compete with Chinese rivals.
Park said that this year will be a crucial moment for the shipbuilder to stay afloat in the industry.
“The shipbuilding sector would get better this year than in 2016, but there won’t be like a bumper year that local shipbuilders once enjoyed,” Park said. “Experts say the industry would marginally improve starting next year,” he added.
Local shipbuilders have been pushing for job cuts and other cost-saving measures to overcome their business setbacks.
“There would be some job cuts, including voluntary retirement, this year as well, but the size would be adjusted, depending on (how smoothly we can clinch) new orders,” Park said.