Korean shipbuilding companies are increasing research and development (R&D) investments this year to secure global competitiveness in the long term, despite this year’s uncertain business environment. Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) decided to increase its R&D investment to 117.9 billion won this year, up 20.3 percent from last year. HHI said it would continue to expand R&D investment until 2010 to secure world-class technological competitiveness in its core vessels and to secure technologies for developing its own cruise ships and submarines.
Samsung Heavy Industries will also increase its R&D investment by 17.6 percent this year to 40 billion won and boost its facility investment by 25 percent to 150 billion won. The company plans to center its facility investments in replacing outmoded facilities, installing new ultra-large cranes and upgrading its technology for building liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers. R&D investments would mostly be injected into improving the digital shipbuilding infrastructure system and three-dimensional computer-aided design system to boost productivity.
Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering has allotted 30 billion won for R&D investment this year. Its R&D spending will be used to upgrade its container shipbuilding technology and developing a vessel that can be used either as an LNG carrier or a floating production storage off-loading ship.