The South Korean shipbuilder has signed a contract with an undisclosed European shipping company to build four 5,500 teu-class containerships for a total of $270m.

It is the first order for merchant ships since 2015 and since it signed a voluntary arrangement with creditors in 2016, it has been focusing on special ships such as naval ships, government ships, and probe ships.

The vessels are scheduled to be delivered by 30 November 2023, Hanjin Heavy said. Hanjin Heavy makes its return to commercial shipbuilding as orders for new containership tonnage surges with delivery slots filling up rapidly to end 2024 at major yards.

Over the past few years, the shipbuilder was facing financial difficulties that led it to file for court receivership in 2019. Hanjin Heavy was forced to carry out a capital reduction and allow creditors to gain control of the company.

In April this year, creditors of Hanjin Heavy, led by the Korea Development Bank (KDB), signed a deal with a consortium led by local builder Dongbu Corp. to sell it a 66.85 % stake in the shipbuilder.

Source: Seatrade Maritime