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S. Korea Biggest Hirer of Tankers

S. Korea Biggest Hirer of Tankers
South Korea hired more single-hulled tankers than any other nation in the first half, the period after the nation's worst-ever oil spill, according to shipbroker Simpson, Spence & Young Ltd.

South Korea Biggest Hirer of Single-Hull Tankers, SSY Data Show

South Korea hired more single-hulled tankers than any other nation in the first half, the period after the nation's worst-ever oil spill, according to shipbroker Simpson, Spence & Young Ltd. South Korean refiners accounted for 25 percent of the tanker market excluding double-hulled carriers, designed to cut the risk of an oil spill in the event of an accident.

South Korea may have hired fewer single-hulled tankers overall, said Mark Jenkins, an analyst at SSY, the world's largest private shipbroker. The single-hulled Hebei Spirit was punctured in December, leaking about 78,750 barrels of crude that destroyed wildlife and fisheries. The government plans to ban the use of single-hulled completely in 2011.

"South Korean refiners are increasing the use of double- hull vessels but it doesn't seem to be easy to secure lots of tankers because of the limited number of vessels,'' Lee Ki Sang, an official at the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, said by telephone June 30.

The figures for non-doubled-hulled rentals also include so- called double-sided, or double-bottomed vessels. Double-hulled vessels usually cost more to hire.

S. Oil Corp. South Korea's third-biggest oil refiner, has only hired double-hull tankers in the spot market since the Hebei Spirit accident, spokesman Lee Dong Hoon said June 30. SK Energy Co., the nation's biggest oil refiner, on April 25 said it will hire more double-hull tankers.

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