Construction of a shipbuilding project, believed to be the largest of its kind in China, commenced Tuesday at Haixiwan Bay in Qingdao, a port city in east China's Shandong province.
Covering an area of 5.7 million square kilometers, the Haixiwan Shipbuilding Base will cost an investment of 7.4 billion yuan (about US$912 million).
The base will be divided into four parts including a shipbuilding zone and a ship repair zone. The shipbuilding zone includes two shipyards: one accommodates ships with 500,000 dwt.
The project is expected to be complete in 2007 and start operation in 2008. By then, it will build ships with a total deadweight capacity of 4.68 million tons annually.
"We expect the base's annual shipbuilding capacity to reach 10 million tons by 2010 with a total industrial output value of 80 billion yuan (about US$9.8 billion)," said Li Changyin, general manager of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation.
So far China has two shipbuilding bases in operation, respectively located in the Yangtze River and Pearl River Deltas.
(Xinhua News Agency November 24, 2005)