SEOUL, May 12 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s leading shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries Co. said Wednesday that it has completed a research and development plant related to liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The plant set up at its shipyard on Geoje Island, 398 kilometers south of Seoul, will develop and test key technologies needed to transport, store and supply LNG, Samsung Heavy Industries said.

The R&D plant will help the shipbuilder widen the technological gap with other rivals in manufacturing LNG carriers and LNG-propelled ships, the company said.

The completion of the plant will also enable the company to localize some key LNG-related technologies, including the liquefication and reliquefication process of LNG, Samsung Heavy Industries said.