Korea’s shipping industry and a seafarers’ union have called for a halt to overseas sales by Hyundai LNG Shipping, the country’s largest transport company specializing in the transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The Federation of Korea Maritime Industries (FKMI) released a statement on May 8 questioning Hyundai LNG Shipping’s overseas sales. FKMI is an association of 54 groups from the shipping, ports and logistics sectors.
“The IMM Consortium’s recent push to sell Hyundai LNG Shipping overseas must be halted from a national economic and security perspective,” FKMI said in a statement. “If shipping companies transporting strategic goods are sold abroad, Korea will not only depend on foreign shipping companies to transport important strategic goods such as crude oil and LNG, but their sale will also raise serious energy security concerns at a time of national crisis Emergency.”
“If the IMM consortium sells Hyundai LNG Shipping to a foreign company or capital, it would be a great loss for Korea in terms of economy and security as Korea’s unpredictable national and informational resources such as LNG transportation know-how accumulated over decades are drained and long-term contractual rights to transport natural gas for KOGAS,” FKMI continued.
“Korea relies on shipping to transport important strategic materials such as crude oil, gas, coal and iron ore from abroad because energy resources can be used as a weapon at any time, as the war between Russia and Ukraine has shown.” Korean shipping companies should save energy resources transport to ensure a quick response and stable supplies in the face of rapidly changing international conditions,” the FKMI added.
“The Yoon Suk-yeol government has emphasized the importance of energy security since taking office,” the Association of Korean Seafarers’ Unions (FKSU) said in a statement. “The sale of the shipping company that transports LNG, one of Korea’s main energy sources, to a foreign company is contrary to this government policy.”
Hyundai LNG Shipping was the LNG transport division of HMM (formerly known as Hyundai Merchant Marine), which was acquired by IMM Private in 2014 during Hyundai Merchant Marine’s liquidity crisis. Hyundai LNG Shipping is Korea’s largest LNG carrier, with 23 vessels including 16 LNG carriers, six LPG carriers and one LNG bunker carrier, a strategic cargo ship mainly transporting LNG imported from KOGAS.