SEOUL-- Samsung Heavy Industries Co., a major shipyard here, is set to suspend work on another floating dock as it feels the pinch in the drop of new orders over the last few years, industry sources said Tuesday.

According to the sources, Samsung Heavy shut down one of three on-road docks last month. The shipyard is also planning to shut down another dock later this month. Samsung Heavy runs eight docks, including four floating docks.

The shipyard has been suspending part of its production facilities in gradual phases to tide over a fall in new orders.

Samsung Heavy is also seeking to cut its workforce and have employees return part of their salaries in order to cut costs. Samsung Heavy was forced to reduce its workforce by 1,500 in 2016 through an early retirement scheme. The shipyard aims to slash its workforce by a total of 5,000 by 2018.

As of end-March, Samsung Heavy's order backlog stood at 9.6 trillion won (US$8.33 billion) which can keep it busy for one year.

The shipyard said earlier it has won $4.8 billion in orders to build 13 ships, including two offshore plants, in the first six months of the year.

The company also expects to win a $1.5 billion deal to build 12 articulated tug barges. Samsung has already signed a letter of intent with SeaOne for the deal, which calls for the construction of barges that will carry compressed gas.

If the deal goes smoothly, orders secured by Samsung Heavy will hit $6.2 billion this year, just shy of its annual goal of $6.5 billion.

Source: Yonhap News Agency