A New Era in Shipbuilding

Hyundai Heavy breaks ground for a new dockyard in Gunsan to get bigger and more competitive

Hyundai Heavy Industries Corp., the largest shipbuilder in the world, will build another shipyard near Gunsan, North Jeolla Province, to add to its two booming shipyards in the country.
President Lee Myung-bak was among some 2,000 guests and shipyard employees led by the company's major shareholder Rep. Chung Mong-joon in a May 7 ceremony to launch the construction of the third dockyard for the shipbuilder. Minister Lee Youn-ho of the Ministry of Knowledge and Economy also attended the event.
President Lee said in his congratulatory speech that the provincial government deserves a hearty congratulation for its hard work to bring the shipyard to Gunsan. He said it shows that local autonomous entities should follow the example set by the Jeollabuk-do government's bone-shearing efforts to persuade the shipbuilder to build another dockyard in Gunsan to help the economy of the province.
The president also called on firms throughout the country to boost their productivity through the development of technologies
and harmonious relations with labor unions in order to beat the current economic difficulties caused by the rising prices of raw materials.
President Lee added that he hoped the smooth labor-management relations maintained at Hyundai Heavy for the past several years would spread to other companies around the country.
The world's largest shipyard plans to invest 1.2 trillion won to build a 1-million-ton dockyard equipped with a 1,600-ton Goliath crane on a 1.8 square kilometer site.
When the new Gunsan dockyard is completed in August, next year, it will be able to build 28 vessels annually valued at some 3 trillion won, providing jobs to some 10,000 workers in the region with annual salaries totaling some 500 billion won.
Hyundai Heavy Industries'President Choi Kil-seon said in his speech that the company's decision to build the Gunsan shipyard was made because the company had strong confidence that it can make the Gunsan shipyard one of the most competitive shipyards in the world and that the mammoth shipyard is needed to further boost the growth of the national economy in the future.
The new shipyard is being counted on to greatly impact the economy of the local region. Gunsan City projects some 50 vendors will also move into the shipbuilding complex, creating some 10,000 jobs and boosting the inflow of residents into the area estimated at some 35,000.
Hyundai Heavy has already won new ship orders to be built at the Gunsan yard, including nine oil tankers and 12 180,000-ton bulk carriers, which will be built as soon as the new dockyard is completed next year. The orders are worth some $2.8 billion.
Hyundai Heavy will now have three dockyards, including one in Ulsan, the world's largest dockyard. Its affiliate Hyundai Mipo Shipbuilding also has a dockyard in Ulsan. Hyundai Samho Heavy Industry, another affiliate of Hyundai Heavy, also operates a dockyard along the southern coast of Youngam, South Jeolla Province. Hyundai Mipo specializes in building mid-sized ships, while Hyundai Samho has already turned out 20 million tons of new ships at its dockyard.
When the Gunsan yard is completed, Hyundai Heavy will have large dockyards on all three coasts of the country, opening a new age in shipbuilding along the West Coast of the country.
Hyundai Heavy expects great synergies to be created among its three dockyards, especially in the area of the supply of materials, as they are located along the country's three coasts.
The fact that the shipbuilder has already received orders for 21 ships before the shipyard has been built shows the high trust the company has built up around the world. The feat can be traced back to the time when the late founder of Hyundai Heavy, Chung Ju-yung, received orders for two new super tankers even before the Ulsan yard was finished.
The entire country still remembers the challenging spirit of the late legendary founder who had only a photo of a sandy beach and a small map showing where the beach was located when he got the orders from a European ship owner.
The fact that Hyundai Heavy clinched orders for 21 new ships even before the new dock yard is completed, shows that the legend, the undaunted challenging spirit of the late founder is still alive and kicking. nw

Hyundai Heavy Industries'President Choi Kil-seon

A bird's eyeview of a dockyard of Hyundai Heavy Industries in Gunsan. The largest shipbuilder in the world will build another dockyard in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province.

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