The move towards use of environmentally friendly fuels continued to generate newbuilding orders this week. A South Korean yard won a massive US$1.5 billion order to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers. Korean yards have been so successful in the LNG sector this year that analysts say LNG could pull the country’s top three yards back to profitability after earnings were cut by the global newbuilding slowdown. Iran said it plans a large programme of coastal and port vessel construction despite western sanctions. The Chinese government has also confirmed the planned merger of the country’s two largest shipbuilding groups in a move to meet heavy competition from South Korea and Japan.