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China to build world's largest shipyard
Vasudha Samanthula

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A shipyard stretching over 8 kilometers of the coastline along the southern part of Shanghai’s Changxin Island, at the mouth of the Yangtze River, is under construction. It is a $3.6 billion project undertaken by the China State Shipbuilding Corporation, and aims to be the largest in the world. Work began in November, and the shipyard is expected to commence operation as early as the end of 2007, and be fully operational by 2015, with an annual capacity of 8 million dead weight tons.

According to Zhou Zhenbo, vice general manager of CSSC, the shipyard will be capable of churning out high-tech liquefied natural gas carriers, super tankers and even luxury liners. The massive complex would also help boost relevant industries such as steel and engine manufacturing, thus creating job opportunities for more than 70,000 people.

As a part of the project, the two large Shanghai-based Jiangnan and Hudong shipyards will be relocated to the new shipyard by 2010. The two shipyards originally located on the banks of the city’s Huangpu river need to make way for the Shanghai World Expo to be held in 2010.

China currently ranks third in the shipbuilding industry after South Korea and Japan. China has witnessed a rapid growth since the early 1990s, with an annual average growth of about 17 percent. With the construction of this shipyard, China hopes to become the world’s leading shipbuilding nation. “It will be the largest shipyard in the world and it will also help CSSC become the world’s top shipbuilder,” CSSC general manager Chen Xiaojin said. CSSC is one of two state-owned shipbuilding companies mainly controlling shipyard activity in China.

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