The South Korean government has invited ideas to refurbish idle dockyards in Tongyeong at the southern tip of South Korea in hopes to generate new revenues for the coastal city in doldrums from slump and restructuring at shipyards.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced Sunday that it will launch an international tender with Korea Land and Housing Corp. (LH) to draw ingenious and workable blueprints that can revive the southern coast region dubbed now as the Korean Rust Belt due to lethargy in ship and automobile manufacturing.
Tongyeong, once home to mid- to small-sized shipyards, enjoyed an economic boom during the maritime heyday in the 2000s. It has been hit hard by chain bankruptcies of shipyards including Samho Shipbuilding, 21st Century Shipbuilding and Shina SB Yard. Another mid-sized shipbuilder Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering has also been put under court receivership.
The government will benchmark Malmo, a Swedish port city that once had flourished as a home to one of the world’s largest shipyards Kockums but later took a heavy toll from economic recessions. The city is thriving again as an eco-friendly city of education, culture and tourism following a successful redevelopment project conducted during the mid-1990s.
The government plans to shortlist candidates during May after receiving applications until May 18 and select a final winner by September. To draw fresh ideas, 50 percent of the credit will be given to the design and lesser on past credentials.
The public are also invited for a separate bid on ideas to renovate the dockyard facilities.
By Seok Min-soo and Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]