South Korea eases ban on LPG carrier construction at DSME


The South Korean Government has reportedly eased the ban on the construction of the five liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers at Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering's (DSME) Okpo shipyard.

The government imposed the ban to pressurise the yard to improve staff safety when working on these complex ships, according to the Yonhap news agency.

However, it is not yet clear if the shipbuilder has introduced any measures for the safety of its workers.

"The government had earlier warned DSME with a week-long work suspension."

UK maritime market researcher Clarkson Research Services was cited by BusinessKorea as reporting that DSME's Okpo shipyard had a backlog of 131 ships to be built as of the end of October.

The ban was imposed by South Korea's Ministry of Employment and Labor following a fire accident on a vessel at the shipyard earlier this month, which killed one worker and injured seven others.

The fire reportedly broke out aboard a gas carrier and was triggered from the sparks of a welder's torch.

This incident is the second to have occurred at the shipyard within a span of three months.

In August, a similar incident at the shipyard killed two workers while injuring seven others.

The fire broke out in a dry dock eight at DSME's Okpo shipyard while the workers were welding inside a hull of an LPG carrier.

The government had earlier warned DSME with a week-long work suspension.