The nation's top three shipbuilders have seen their combined orders rise again to the US$50-billion mark, six years after they first soared past this level in 2007 when the industry was flourishing.
Total orders placed by Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries, and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering stood at $52 billion this year. The figure peaked at $68.5 billion in 2007, but fell to $49.8 billion in 2008 and $11 billion in 2009 due to the global financial crisis.
The recent upswing is attributed to the popularity of eco-friendly ships around the world. Amid high oil prices and strict regulations to protect the marine environment, environmentally friendly ships are preferred to conventional vessels that consume a lot of fuel and discharge high levels of pollutants.