China to open two new shipyards

China to open two new shipyards

After years as the world's No. 3 shipbuilder, China aims to become the biggest by 2015, bolstered by two new yards.

"The aim is to build 15 million deadweight tons of ships at the two shipyards,'' Li Zhushi, vice president of China State Shipbuilding Corp., told a maritime forum in Shanghai.

China expects to build ships totaling 5 million dwt. this year, up from last year's 4.2 million. That would account for one-tenth of the world total, Zhang Guangqin, vice minister of the Commission of Science, Technology

and Industry for National Defense, told the Marintec China 2003 conference.

State-run China Shipbuilding Industry Corp., which supervises shipyards in China's north, intends to expand annual capacity to 4 million dwt. By 2005, and again to 9 million dwt. by 2015, said Dong Qiang, the company's vice president.

"By then, China will probably hold a one-third stake of the world's total capacity, ranking No. 1, ahead of Japan and Korea,'' one Chinese official said.

The two new yards are in Shanghai and southern Guangzhou near Hong Kong.

Work on the Shanghai project, described as the world's largest, is due to start this month. The Shanghai Jiangnan yard is to move to Changxing Island by 2007, with Shanghai Hudong yard following by 2010. The combined island yard will have eventual capacity of 12 million dwt. A year, the conference was told.