Marine safety equipment manufacturer and servicing provider VIKING Life-Saving Equipment A/S is to establish a local presence in Korea through a joint venture agreement with Korean marine safety equipment and servicing company Daemyung Marine.
The new joint venture, VIKING Life-Saving Equipment Korea, has VIKING as the majority shareholder.
The venture aims to bring faster access for Korean-based and foreign-flag ship managers in the cargo, passenger and offshore segments to the full range of VIKING products and service concepts. It is also the logical next step for a highly successful partnership that has extended over more than 30 years.
“Moving as a joint venture into a larger, brand-new and purpose-built facility, and integrating staff competencies from both companies represents a natural evolution for us together with Daemyung,” said Henrik Uhd Christensen, VIKING’s CEO.
“With this new entity, we’re able to extend our product portfolio while speeding up the supply of safety equipment to ship owners in Korean ports.”
Establishing a local presence also strengthens VIKING’s ability to deliver on the full potential of its industry-leading Shipowner Agreement (SOA) contracts in the region. Popular with ship owners around the world, a SOA combines global product availability and servicing with financing in fixed price structures – and with service schedules managed from a single point of contact at VIKING. Under the joint venture agreement, for example, the Korean facility will stock ready-packaged liferafts to provide fixed-price liferaft exchange to vessels calling Korean ports.
The new investment in safety servicing infrastructure is placed in the Port of Busan, the largest port in South Korea and a key hub in the Asian region. Centrally located, and famed for its high service level and pier-to-pier ease of access, Busan comprises four fully equipped modern cargo ports as well as an international passenger terminal and six container terminals. Busan handles some 40% of the country’s total marine cargo, 80% of its container cargo, and 42% of Korea’s fisheries production.
“Investing in local stock points makes the most of the operating efficiencies Busan can offer ship managers and shipyards,” said Mr J W Lee. A successful Korean businessman, he built Daemyung Marine around VIKING’s range of safety products, gaining considerable market share in newbuilding. In 2014, his achievement was recognized with the awarding of a Medal of Honor by HRH Prince Henrik of Denmark.
“This new joint-venture agreement is a powerful statement of satisfaction with the partnership between the two companies,” he continued. “It’s a big step forward in our joint commitment to bringing the very best safety solutions to ship managers in Korea – and around the world.””
“Coming on the heels of our Australian acquisition a few months ago, we are delighted to announce this investment in Korea as the latest in a string of initiatives that strengthen our capabilities to support both the local agenda and global ship owners,” said Bjarne Kolbo Nielsen, VIKING’s Vice President, Asia.