SEOUL, Aug. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean shipbuilders are bolstering their research and development (R&D) investments to secure a larger stake in upcoming markets, such as environmentally friendly vessels and autonomous ships.
According to industry data, the three leading shipyards of the country invested 125.6 billion won (US$94.6 million) in R&D during the first half of this year, denoting a 21.7 percent increase compared to the previous year.
HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co. witnessed a 32.2 percent surge in its R&D expenditure, reaching 57.2 billion won, while Hanwha Ocean Co. and Samsung Heavy Industries Co. experienced growth rates of 16.6 percent and 11.1 percent, respectively.
Notably, these prominent shipyards significantly escalated their capital in eco-friendly ship technology, encompassing materials for the transportation and storage of low-temperature liquid fuels like liquid natural gas (LNG), methanol and ammonia, in addition to fuel-efficient vessel designs.
These initiatives toward eco-friendly ship R&D have directly resulted in augmented order-receipt volumes.
Among the ship orders secured by HD Korea Shipbuilding, the proportion of eco-friendly ships escalated to 79 percent this year, surpassing the figures of 78 percent in the previous year and 59 percent in 2021.
In the case of Hanwha Ocean, the share of eco-friendly ships in their overall order-receipt volume stood at 87 percent this year, a decrease from 91 percent in 2022 but a substantial rise from 57 percent in 2021.
Likewise, Samsung Heavy Industries observed a rise in the share of eco-friendly ship orders to 97 percent this year, compared to 93 percent in 2022 and 71 percent in 2021.
Another focal point of their R&D endeavors is automation, with the top three shipyards conducting demonstrations to devise self-driving solutions.
Furthermore, they are actively working to augment the integration of robots at shipyard sites and to implement digital twin technology.
J. S. Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)