South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) is planning to merge the shipbuilding and offshore businesses.

The merger will come into effect on 1 July.

The company is planning to relocate the Offshore Business Division workers to Merchant Ship Section.

It is expected to ‘prevent them from loitering’ and it aims to use the empty inner walls of the offshore plant building for the construction of merchant ships.

Additionally, the company plans to downsize its organisation by approximately 20% by integrating departments that carry out similar work.

The company will not make any promotions in the first half of this year amid its regular personnel reshuffle.

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It also plans to lay off approximately 20% of the executives. It will reduce the total number of executives by 50.

The ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic has affected the global shipbuilding market.

Previously, the Government of South Korea said that it would provide approximately KRW1.25tn ($1bn) to support the Korean shipping industry.

The industry is considered to be one of the seven key industries.

Earlier this month, the EU antitrust regulators resumed their probe into a $1.8bn merger of HHI and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME).

The regulator also set a deadline of 3 December for reaching a decision.

The organisation halted the process on 1 April as it is waiting for information to be provided by the companies.

In June last year, HHI signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Norwegian chemical company Jotun for the supply of marine paints.