News Item

First ship built using "on-ground build" method: South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) Co. is set to deliver the world's first vessel constructed on land instead of in a dry dock. The crude oil tanker NS Challenger will be handed over to Russia's Novoship on Saturday. HHI is seeking to acquire global patent rights for the on-ground method, which was developed from technologies used for building offshore structures. The new method is currently less cost-efficient than the traditional dry dock method, but the company predicts costs will come down as building procedures are streamlined. The company developed the new method when its order books started filling up; they currently have a three year backlog, with all nine dry docks fully booked. HHI plans to build 16 more vessels on ground, and deliver them by the end of 2007. See "Hyundai Heavy Industries completes world's first on-ground built vessel," AFP at Tehran Times, 1/8/05.

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