Hyundai expands business horizon
By Kim Tae-gyu
Ever since surging to the global top spot in the early 1980s, Hyundai Heavy Industries has remained ahead of the curve as the indisputable leader in the shipbuilding business.
Understandably, all eyes were on the Ulsan-based company last year when shipyards struggled to find their feet in the midst of the financial crisis.
The answer that Hyundai has come up with to deal with the downturn is to expand its business horizon to such enterprises as the generation of renewable energies or storage of them.
``We are an international top player in a total of 14 segments including shipbuilding, large-sized engines for vessels and mobility-specific power generation systems to name a few,'' a Hyundai spokesman said.
``However, we will not rest on our past laurels. Lest we continue to forge ahead, we will lag behind. Hence, we look to further diversify our business portfolios beyond the current ones.''
Already, Hyundai Heavy operates a total of six divisions of shipbuilding, offshore and engineering, industrial plant and engineering, engines and machinery, electro-electric systems and construction equipment.
On top of those existing businesses, the company strives to nurture next-generation growth engines in renewable energies and fuel cells in line with the sweeping green trend.
The company channeled 107.7 billion won to build the country's largest wind turbine factories in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province, in March. Currently, it churns out 1.65 megawatt-class products and is vying to increase its annual capacity to 800 megawatts.
The products have already found customers as Hyundai will install the turbines in Sindh, southwestern Pakistan starting midway through next year.
Hyundai has also advanced into the Chinese market, dubbed the world's No. 1 wind power generation market.
It signed a memorandum of understanding with Datang Shandong Power Generation and Weihai City Government last month to build large-sized wind turbine production lines this year with a yearly capacity of 600 megawatts.
In addition, the entity is making a brisk foray into the solar power generation industries or poly silicon sectors, the main material to build solar cells.
Hyundai Heavy Chairman Min Keh-sik said that the outfit would chalk up sustainable expansions through technical leadership and management-labor cooperation.
``Our vision is to be the global leader in heavy industries. We are aware that we will need to make long strides and put in a remarkable effort to maintain this position,'' the CEO said on the firm's Web site.
``As key to achieving our vision, we will steadfastly adhere to our core business philosophy of stable growth, technological innovation and internal harmony and cooperation.''