Samsung Heavy attacks high-end market
By Kim Tae-gyu
Samsung Heavy Industries is going all-out to further sharpen its competitive edge in high-end ships, a lucrative field which few shipbuilders are allowed in due to high technological entry barriers.
The Seoul-based corporation has already made headway in the top-tier markets via building new-concept floating production storage and offloading (FPOS) systems that let the extraction of natural gases and the liquefying of them for easy storage at sea.
All six global orders for the liquefied natural gas (LNG)-FPSO have been won by Samsung since 2008. The company also signed a long-term contract with Royal Dutch Shell under which several LNG-FPSO will be delivered.
Other top-of-the-line products such as drill ships, icebreakers or cruise liners are targets for Samsung, which have chalked up substantial results in its endeavor in the potential-laden areas.
This initiative is spearheaded by Samsung's charismatic Chief Executive Roh In-sik, who took the reins of the firm in January last year.
``We need to focus more on technology development. The key to successfully overcoming the current crisis is in high-value ships. Now is the time to occupy the high-value shipbuilding market with our differentiated technology.'' Roh said early this year in a New Year statement.
``We need to shift our focus from quantity to quality. We had to maximize production over a short period of time during the economic boom, but at this moment, we need to maximize our production efficiency through thorough production management and innovations in the area of processing technology.
Another major focus of the company is the eco-friendly segments in tune with the global initiative toward green growth.
``As technological excellence is the best source of competitiveness at a time of crisis, Samsung Heavy Industries will increase its offerings of world-leading products by steadily developing exclusive technologies,'' Roh said at a shareholders' meeting in March.
``In addition, we will focus on the development of products and technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and will further expand our production and export of wind power generators.''