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Hyundai Mipo reaches milestone of 600th ship delivery

Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co., a Korean shipbuilder, on Monday set a milestone in vessel construction with the delivery of its 600th product in just 14 years.

The affiliate of Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., the world’s largest shipyard, said it handed over a container vessel with a capacity of 1,000 twenty-foot equivalent units to CK Line Co., a Seoul-based shipping line.

The accomplishment came only 14 years after Hyundai Mipo tapped the market in 1997 with a focus on mid-size product carriers, the company said. Its aggregate gross tonnage reaches 16.5 million.

Since its inroads, the Ulsan-based firm has seen steady growth in the number of orders, touching 80 last year compared with 21 in 2001. It crossed the 500 threshold in January 2011.

Of the 600 vessels, petrochemicals carriers account for 63 percent, or 378. Container ships and bulk carriers amount each to 89 and 60, it added.

“Hyundai Mipo’s collective stake in its flagship segments ― product carriers and chemical and oil tankers under 60,000 deadweight tonnage ― has jumped to 23 percent in 2011 as it benefits from a restructuring effect following the 2008-9 financial crisis, which swept financially unstable shipyards out of the sector,” said analyst Jeon Jae-cheon at Daishin Securities Co.

With the doldrums looming in the wake of the European debt crisis, the shipbuilder said it plans to shore up its charges into high value-added markets such as for offshore plants, fuel-efficient carriers and other ships with special purposes.

Early this month, Hyundai Mipo won its first order for platform supply vessels designed to convey equipment related to deepwater drilling. Under the 221.5 billion won ($197.3 million) deal, the company will build four units for a European shipping line by May 2014.

“The maiden order paved the way for Hyundai Mipo to branch out into the offshore plant area,” said John Yu, an analyst at Woori Investment & Securities Co.

Hyundai Mipo will be able to secure an additional six PSV orders worth more than $300 million in total this year, he forecast.

“The firm is constantly getting inquiries about PSVs, which seems to be affected by its shipbuilding capabilities and market recognition accumulated over years in the mid-size ship market,” Yu added.

Hyundai Mipo aims to deliver 80 ships and gain $3.2 billion in orders this year, up about 60 percent from a year ago. It targets 4 trillion won in revenues, down around 4.3 percent from 4.17 trillion won last year.

By Shin Hyon-hee (