Hyundai Heavy reaps corns, soybeans at its Russian farmland

Yonhap | 15 April 2010

SEOUL, April 15 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., the world's largest shipbuilder, said Thursday that it has harvested 4,500 tons of soybeans and 2,000 tons of corn at its Russian farm.

In April last year, Hyundai Heavy bought 67.6 percent of the Russian farm, in Khorolsky Rion, about 170 kilometers north of Vladivostok, for US$6.5 million, to grow corn and soybeans as part of efforts to diversify revenue sources.

The shipbuilder said it plans to invest $9 million to increase the farming area to 50,000 hectares from 10,000 hectares by 2012, and the crops will be sold to South Korea.

Hyundai Heavy said the farmland is expected to produce 60,000 tons of corn and beans annually by 2014.

The Russian farmland is currently operated by Hyundai Corp., which was taken over by Hyundai Heavy last year.

Hyundai Heavy has ventured into the sectors of solar and wind power to reduce its reliance on shipbuilding, which accounted for almost half its sales.

Hyundai Heavy's move is in line with the government's drive to secure stable food supplies.

Resource-poor South Korea, one of Asia's largest importers of corn, has been seeking to secure stable supplies of natural resources including food.
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