Ulsan (South Korea), May 19: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday visited Hyundai Heavy Industries here to seek increased partnership between Indian shipyards and the South Korean giant to ensure that India's shipbuilding industry can benefit from its expertise and experience.
Modi, who flew in here, about 400km, from Seoul and drove 85km from the airport to Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), was received by Choi Kil-seon, the Chairman and CEO of HHI, and Kwon Oh-gap, the President and CEO of HHI, besides Mayor of Ulsan Kim Gi Hyeon.
The Prime Minister, who spent about an hour, discussed various ways to expand cooperation in naval defence, LNG carrier construction and shipbuilding technology. "Shipbuilding is a top priority for us," Modi told Choi.
Modi showed particular interest in HHI's technological prowess in building a wide range of naval vessels as well as high-value added vessels such as LNG carriers.
India's state-run gas company GAIL is likely to place an order of 11 LNG carriers to haul LNG from the US to India for 20 years, starting 2017. HHI recently signed an MoU with India-based engineering major Larsen and Tubro on technological support for construction of LNG carriers.
The company has undertaken a total of 30 offshore projects for India, beginning with the Mumbai offshore oil platform project in 1982. Also, the company has operated construction equipment production lines in Pune since 2008.
HHI has specialised in shipbuilding, offshore and engineering, marine engines and machinery, electro electric systems, green energy and construction equipment.
Officials said India wants Korea's involvement in some of the LNG container ships. Indian defence sector is also seeking enhancement of cooperation with Korea in shipbuilding.