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ANALYSISKOREA


ALE completes the world’s heaviest ever jack-up for Exxon Neftegaz at the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering shipyard in Korea.


Awaiting a global market upturn


South Korea may be the birthplace of the some of the world’s heaviest rigs and structures and its biggest ships, but the general mood of the Korean marketplace is sombre, reports Dave MacIntyre.


lthough the international reflex of turning to South Korean fabricators for the largest items of equipment still holds sway, the feedback from Korean operators reflects a market that is in the doldrums – albeit there are prospects of an upturn soon. This seems at odds with some of the spectacular headline-grabbing Korean projects in the heavy lift world – such as when heavy lift and transportation provider ALE recently completed the world’s heaviest ever jack-up for Exxon Neftegaz at the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine


A www.heavyliftpfi.com


Engineering shipyard in Korea. The topside is destined for the Arkutun Dagi field off the east coast of Russia, a development that is expected to be the largest oil and gas production platform in that country, with the first oil scheduled to be produced next year.


ALE utilised its innovative Mega Jack System for the project. Kees Kompier, executive director at ALE, commented: “The system itself opens up a whole range of options for our clients and is completely scalable, meaning we can create a system to fit the requirements of projects, becoming


more flexible in our capacity and solutions.” But such one-off spectacular moves are not necessarily indicative of a buoyant project market overall. One Korean forwarder told HLPFI that engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies have reported a sharp downturn in profitability, possibly caused by a focus on market share instead of bottom-line results. “The EPC companies may change their policy direction from sales achievements to profit,” he said. Others point not to a market-share obsession but purely a lack of orders in the current market conditions. The Project Cargo Network (PCN) currently has three members in South Korea – Daewon Logipia, Kimex Air & Sea and WorldEx Inc. Recent shipments undertaken by Kimex include chiller machines to Abu Dhabi for LG Electronics and transformers


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