SHI joins queue for Russian business
RUSSIAN group United Industrial Corp (OPK) has signed a memorandum of understanding with South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries. The MoU offers SHI the lure of possible plump contracts for liquefied natural gas carriers and offshore structures in return for more immediate technical assistance in shipbuilding and yard construction. Earlier this year, OPK struck a similar deal with a Japanese consortium, made up of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Mitsui & Co. OPK already owns two shipyards, Severnaya Verf and Baltiysky Zavod, and has plans to develop the former into a major shipbuilding complex, assisted by the likes of SHI and MHI. SHI signed a similar co-operation deal with Russia’s United Shipbuilding in February this year with an MoU that provides for the development of new business and the promotion of joint investment projects, joint development of design technology, and overall co-operation in the enhancement of shipbuilding technology. At the time an SHI source said the deal would enable the shipbuilder to increase market share from Russian shipowners and energy companies seeking to expand their fleets of ice-class tankers and bulk carriers as well as offshore units, in return for technology transfers and services including new shipyard construction technology. The latest deal marks an accelerating trend by Russia in its push for self-reliance in the carriage of its own vast energy resources ahead of major oil and gas projects expected to come on-stream over the next four to five years.
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