Hyundai's $18-Million Maritime Research Institute In Ulsan Completed
A gala opening ceremony was held recently to mark the official opening of the new Hyundai Maritime Research Institute (HMRI) in Ulsan, Korea. The event was attended by a large group of government and industry leaders from Korea and elsewhere, including many research scientists from model basins in Europe. Located adjacent to Hyundai Heavy Industries' huge shipbuilding and diesel engine manufacturing complex, the Institute's facilities cover an area of almost 12,000 square meters and include a threestory main office building, a towing tank approximately 690 feet long, 46 feet wide, and 20 feet deep; a cavitation tunnel, a circulating water channel, and a ship model workshop. Construction of the HMRI required some 32,000 man-days and cost a total of about $18 million, including $11 million for purchased equipment such as tank facilities, measuring devices, and machine tools. The Institute's current staff comprises 70 researchers, 15 of them with PhD degrees, and 30 employees for administration and operation of equipment.
Hyundai pioneered in the development of modern shipbuilding in Korea when it commenced activities in 1972. During the past 12 years the yard has achieved remarkable growth by successful delivery of some 300 vessels. In 1983 HHI delivered 34 vessels of various types totaling about 1,650,000 dwt, and during 1984 43 vessels of 1,900,000 dwt are to be delivered.
In his address at the opening ceremony, HHI president Mong Joon Chung said, "We have now become one of the largest shipyards in the world, offering shipowners excellent quality and technology. Since the establishment of the Hyundai Shipyard in Ulsan, the world shipping market has become more diversified and competition has intensified. Shipbuilders throughout the world have made great efforts to develop more economic and more efficient ship designs.
"Against this background, R&D activities have become essential to keep abreast with development of technology and also to maintain competitiveness in the world market. Thus at Hyundai Heavy Industries, the decision was made to establish our own research institute," Mr. Chung added.
"From now on, our R&D work will focus on the development of more economical designs for commercial vessels and offshore structures by utilizing the most sophisticated design technology. In this way, we hope that we can contribute to the prosperity of the world's shipbuilding and shipping industries," he concluded.