Tue, Dec 30, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Chinese firm to open gigantic shipyard

AP , SHANGHAI, CHINA

A Chinese shipbuilding company has broken ground on what it says will be the world's biggest shipyard, a high-tech facility capable of producing cruise ships and natural gas tankers, official newspapers reported yesterday.

The yard, being built on an island at the mouth of the Yangtze river, will feature seven construction docks along an 8km stretch of coastline, the Shanghai Daily reported.

When completed in 2015, the yard will be able to produce a total of 12 million dead weight tonnes of ships per year, the report said, a figure potentially representing dozens of vessels. A dead weight tonne refers to the maximum amount of tonnes of cargo a ship is able to carry. The largest oil tankers weigh in at about 500,000 dead weight tonnes.

Hyundai Heavy Industries currently operates the world's largest shipyard, Hyundai Shipyard, in the city of Ulsan in South Korea, which is the top ship producer, followed by Japan. China is the third largest, with about 8 percent of global market share, Shanghai Daily said.

The new yard is being built by the China State Shipbuilding Corp, which incorporates 25 large and medium-sized shipyards. The group currently produces tankers and container ships, as well as warships and submarines for China's navy, according to its Web site.

At least two of the group's subsidiaries will move to the new yard from their present locations.

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