Collapsed STX Dalian Shipbuilding is making a comeback to the newbuilding market after it exited the sector in early 2013.

Chinese private petrochemical company Hengli Group plans to order up to four 20,000-dwt bulker newbuildings at the yard, which is now under the control of its subsidiary company Hengli Heavy Industry Group, according to local news agencies.

The bulkers will reportedly be used to transport coal from Qinhuangdao to Dalian, according to reports by Caixin Global.

Hengli has a fleet of 10 bulkers of around 16,000 dwt built in 2014 and 2015, according to shipping databases.

One Chinese shipping source confirmed that STX Dalian is being “resuscitated”.

He said the shipyard, which has some 3,000 employees, has been renamed Hengli Heavy Industry and is manufacturing steel structures for various industries.

“We think Hengli can successfully bring STX Dalian back to life as the group company has a shipping arm and hiring shipyard workers in north China is not an issue as the supply of labour there is abundant,” the source said.

STX Dalian, which was set up in 2006 by South Korea’s STX Offshore & Shipbuilding, was once the largest shipyard in northern China.

But it collapsed in 2013 due to cash-flow problems and was reported to have owed over CNY 24bn ($3.36bn) to more than 700 creditors, including CNY 480m in outstanding salary payments to 5,000 employees.

At its peak, it had a workforce of around 27,000 including subcontractors.

In July this year, STX Dalian was finally sold after 10 sales attempts. Hengli Heavy Industry acquired the shipyard for CNY 1.73bn, with a view to transforming it into an offshore manufacturing base.

Hengli Heavy Industry will initially focus on building bulkers for its group company, but it will later include product tankers, large crude carriers and other ship types into its portfolio, Caixin reported.