Thanks to Folkert Visser from BP, we were be able to get a tour of the Hyundai Shipyard and Hyundai Motor Company. About 19 of us were hosted with VIP treatment as we were picked up from Ulsan airport with the Hyundai coach.
After a short film and presentation we were taken around the yard by Folkert and Mr Lee Kee Yun. This amazing ‘city’ of ship parts, seemingly randomly placed, is the largest and most efficient in the world. In 9 docks this yard ‘churns’ out a super-ship every 5 days! The hull of the impressive FPSO (combination of storage – 9 days- and production) was in the final stages of being completed before it would be towed to the HHI Offshore site where yet another impressive number of modules were being built, to be mounted on the Hull. They included power generators, desaltation and deaeration compressors and seperators.
After an excellent Korean Kalbi lunch we were taken through the engine factory. Basically your straight forward 7 cylinder diesel engine, except a bit bigger. Cylinders the size of lift shafts and engines the size of a 3 story building!
Afterwards we got to go to Hyundai Motor Company, the largest car factory by size in the world. After a presentation by Mr. Kang Ho Don EVP Production Coordination Division, we were taken on a tour of the factory. Again, very impressive with a clean environment, just-in-time delivery and lines delivering cars in 54 to 70 seconds dependiong on the model. Interestingly, the production lines were manned by males, whyle typically the completion checks and controls were done by females. HMC produces almost 2 million cars per year, of which about 1.2 million is for export.
To complete our visit, our generous hosts offered each visitor a Hyundai Coupe model and a group picture. All in all, a great day that will be remembered as “big: big ships, big engines, big plant, big car lot and big hospitality. thanks to our gracious hosts at Hyundai.