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Hyundai Heavy breaks ground on Gunsan yard

Hyundai Heavy breaks ground on Gunsan yard

Seoul: Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. yesterday broke ground on a new shipbuilding yard in Gunsan, a southwestern port city, as it plans to expand its capacity to meet rising demand.

Encompassing about 1.8 million square meters of land, the Gunsan yard will be capable of building 28 ships a year, and will bring in additional annual revenue of 3 trillion won ($3 billion) to the world's largest shipbuilder, the company said in a press release. Hyundai will invest 1.2 trillion won in the yard, which is scheduled to go into operation by August 2009, it said. "We decided to build a new yard here on the west coast because of our strong belief that we can make it into one of the world's largest shipyards," CEO Choi Kil-seon said during the groundbreaking ceremony. Guests included President Lee Myung-bak and Knowledge Economy Minister Lee Youn-ho.

The yard is expected to significantly help the local economy, creating around 10,000 new jobs, company and local government officials said.

Hyundai has a shipbuilding yard in Ulsan on the east coast where it is building a new dock to boost its capacity. Its affiliate, the Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, also has a shipbuilding base in Ulsan, while another subsidiary, Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries, operates a large shipyard in Yeongam in the south.

The Gunsan yard has already secured advance orders for 21 vessels, including nine oil tankers, valued at $2.6 billion in total.  [8/5/08]