China's first liquefied natural gas(LNG) ship sailed off shipyard Wednesday in Shanghai, marking China's shipbuilding industry stepping into a new era.
Sources from the China State Shipbuilding Corp (CSSC) said the LNG ship was built by CSSC's Shanghai subsidiary, the Hudong-Zhonghua shipbuilding (Group) Co Ltd, which fills a blank in China's shipbuilding history.
The LNG ship is regarded a high-tech product with high-added value in the shipbuilding industry, which can only be built in Japan, the Republic of Korea and several European countries.
To share a cake of the global market, China input more than 100 million yuan on the research of the LNG ship in the past years and make effective its first contract for LNG vessels in August, 2004.
The first LNG ship, 292 meters long and 43.35 wide, with a capacity of 147,200 cubic meters, is scheduled to go into operation in October, 2007, said the Hudong-Zhonghua shipbuilding (Group) Co. Ltd.
The subsidiary group now shares an order of five LNG vessels, with the second expected to be delivered at early 2008. The costs of the two LNG vessels hit US$400 million, said the group.
(Xinhua News Agency December 30, 2005)