India and Korea Boost Shipbuilding Ties

Modi at HHI

Published May 20, 2015 12:03 AM by Wendy Laursen

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) during his visit to South Korea this week. Modi is looking to boost ties between Indian shipyards and HHI to develop India’s shipbuilding industry. 

HHI is reported to be the only Korean shipbuilding company the Prime Minister visited during his two-day stay. During the meeting held at the HHI headquarters in Ulsan, Modi and the HHI management discussed various ways to expand cooperation on naval defense, LNG carrier construction and shipbuilding technology. 

Modi has shown 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, said HHI in a statement.

In the foreseeable future, India’s state-run gas company GAIL is likely to place an order of maximum 11 LNG carriers to haul LNG from the U.S. to India for 20 years starting in 2017. Additionally, HHI recently signed an MOU with India-based engineering major Larson & Toubro on technological support for construction of LNG carriers. 

HHI 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 is not the only South Korean yard to have ties with Indian yards. Local media reports that India’s Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering has signed a cooperation deal Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME). With DSME LNG carrier technology Pipavav should therefore be eligible to win construction orders for GAIL’s LNG fleet.

Cochin Shipyard has already reached an agreement with Samsung Heavy Industries on LNG carrier technology.

Prior to his visit to HHI, Modi spoke with South Korean President Park Geun-hye about his desire for Korean companies to participate in his “Make it India” campaign, citing defense and shipbuilding as key areas. “Our decision to establish a joint working group on shipbuilding reflects our seriousness to cooperate in this area,” said Modi.

While in South Korea, Modi also announced the establishment of a channel Korea Plus to facilitate Korean companies’ investment and operations in India.