GTT (Gaztransport & Technigaz), an engineering firm specialising in containment systems with cryogenic membranes used to transport and store liquefied natural gas (LNG) on Wednesday (25 November) said the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) announced, in a press release, that it had reached a decision in its investigation regarding GTT’s commercial practices with the Korean shipyards in relation to the construction of LNG carriers.
In its decision, the KFTC said it considers some of the GTT’s commercial practices have not complied with Korean competition regulations since 2016, and notably requests GTT allow Korean shipyards to perform all or part of the technical assistance services currently included in the technology license.
This decision includes an administrative fine of approximately €9.5 million, noted GTT.
GTT emphasized that the licence of the technology and the technical assistance constitute an inseparable offering, which guarantees the integrity of its technologies, and that any separation could be detrimental to the entire LNG carrier industry.
The company challenged the rationale of this decision and, upon receipt of the KFTC’s written decision, and said it intends to appeal against it, with a request for suspension of the decision, before the Seoul High Court.
The company does not anticipate any significant financial or industrial impact in the short or mid-term. Depending on the conclusions of the appeal procedure, it will reassess the consequences on its activities.
“We are convinced that our commercial practices comply with the Korean competition rules and that the structuring of our offer, which has contributed for decades to the safe development of LNG maritime transport, makes it possible to provide our shipyard partners with ever more innovative, safe and efficient technologies, for the benefit of the entire industry,” saod Philippe Berterottière, Chairman and CEO of GTT.
Photo credit: GTT
Published: 26 November, 2020
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