Hyundai Heavy Industries, the nation's largest shipbuilder affiliated with HD Hyundai, said Wednesday that its accumulative engine production for vessels has exceeded 200 million horsepower -- a record in the global shipbuilding industry.
The company held a ceremony to mark the production milestone as it started a new 74,720-horsepower vessel engine at its engine production plant in Ulsan, an industrial city on the southern coast.
The company said the latest feat comes 44 years since it started the production of large ship engines back in 1979. Two hundred million horsepower is equivalent to the combined power of about 1.25 million Sonata midsize sedans, the company added.
Hyundai Heavy Industries has maintained its leadership position in the global large ship engine market for 34 consecutive years. Last year, its market share stood at 36 percent.
When it comes to midsize engines, it also topped the list with more than 30 percent market share.
Hyundai Heavy Industries boasted that its global expansion was driven by innovative technology.
The company's drive for technological innovation goes back to 1976, when the shipbuilder decided to make its own engines to gain a competitive edge in overseas markets. Two years later, it completed the construction of a plant for large engines with an annual capacity of 900,000 horsepower, the largest in the world at that time.
In 1979, it forayed into global markets with the first large engine of 9,380 horsepower. After 28 years, it made a 108,920-horsepower engine, the most powerful one in the world at the time. The company also became the first to have built a 100 million-horsepower engine in 2010.
As for midsize engines, it launched the Himsen engine in 2000. Starting from 2011, it has manufactured those engines and stopped producing licensed products from other companies. The cumulative production of Hyundai’s engines hit the then-record of 10,000 in 2016.
Hyundai Heavy Industries also underscored its efforts to lead the eco-friendly engine market. In 2012, it developed world’s first dual-fuel package that uses eco-friendly methanol and traditional fuels. It rolled out the first large-scale methanol dual engine in 2015.
The latest 74,720-horsepower engine also uses a dual fuel system, powered by the methanol fuel supply system from Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering, HD Hyundai’s intermediate holding company.
This engine will be installed in the world’s first mega-sized methanol-powered ship that can hold 16,000 units of 20-foot containers made by Maersk, a Danish shipping company.
Currently, of its large engine biddings, more than 60 percent come from the green fuel industry, such as LNG, LPG, methanol and ethanol.
In a move to accelerate a net zero initiative, Hyundai completed the pilot production of an LNG and hydrogen fuel engine. Other eco-friendly fuels include ammonia.
“Based on over 40 years of high-quality engine production, the company has played a vital role in making South Korea the world’s best shipbuilder,” said Han Ju-seok, head of the engine machinery division at Hyundai Heavy Industries, in a statement. “We look to make a leap forward for the industry in the future as well.”