China to en­ter cruise liner build­ing mar­ket

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By ZHONGNANand JING SHUIYU

China’s first lux­ury cruise liner will be able to carry up to 5,000 pas­sen­gers when it is de­liv­ered in 2021, cre­at­ing a new op­por­tu­nity for the coun­try to en­ter the world’s lu­cra­tive cruise liner mar­ket.

State-owned China State Ship­build­ing Corp and Ital­ian ship­builder Fin­cantieri Cantieri Navali Ital­iana SpA will es­tab­lish a joint ven­ture in Hong Kong. The joint ven­ture will spend 25 bil­lion yuan ($3.74 bil­lion) build­ing five lux­ury cruise lin­ers.

CSSC will take a 60 per­cent stake in the new com­pany, while the Ital­ian side will hold the re­main­ing shares. The money will come from an in­dus­trial devel­op­ment fund for cruise lin­ers from five Chi­nese banks, in­clud­ing Bank of China, Agri­cul­tural Bank of China and China Con­struc­tion Bank, ac­cord­ing to CSSC.

Un­der the frame­work, Shang­hai Waigao­qiao Ship­build­ing Co, a sub­sidiary of CSSR, will be re­spon­si­ble for build­ing the lin­ers.

Chen Gang, vice-pres­i­dent of Shang­hai Waigao­qiao Ship­build­ing, said each of th­ese ships dis­places 133,500 tons and their length will ex­ceed 300me­ters. Each ship will cost around 5 bil­lion yuan to build.

The Shang­hai ship­yard has al­ready es­tab­lished a spe­cial­ized depart­ment to start de­sign work and they are sched­uled to be built in 2017.

“The cruise lin­ers built in China will high­light Chi­nese el­e­ments, with the guest rooms dec­o­rated in the style of ei­ther a tra­di­tional Bei­jing court­yard or an old-fash­ioned Shang­hai res­i­den­tial room,” said Chen.

Fin­cantieri, the Ital­ian part­ner, founded in 1780 and head­quar­tered in Tri­este, is one of the big­gest cruise liner man­u­fac­tur­ers in the world, with 21 ship­yards in Asia, Europe, and North and South Amer­i­cas. It is able to build cruis­ers of all types.

Dong Li­wan, a ship­ping in­dus­try pro­fes­sor at Shang­haiMar­itime Univer­sity, said cruise lin­ers are the only high-tech ship prod­ucts that China has yet to mas­ter. Euro­pean ship­yards, in­clud­ing Italy’s Fin­cantieri, Ger­many’s Meyer Werft, and STX France SA, account for 90 per­cent of to­tal global or­ders.

“To date, Asian ship­builders in­clud­ing Ja­pan and South Korea are in­ca­pable of ei­ther de­sign­ing or build­ing cruise ships in­de­pen­dently,” said Dong.

A cruise liner is the re­sult of the com­bi­na­tion of many tech­nolo­gies. Up to 75 per­cent of the value of a cruise liner is han­dled by sub­con­trac­tors.

To date, Asian ship­builders are in­ca­pable of ei­ther de­sign­ing or build­ing cruise ships in­de­pen­dently.”

Con­tact the writ­ers at zhong­nan @chi­nadaily.com.cn and jing­shuiyu @chi­nadaily.com.cn

AFP

Speed­boats pass the Har­mony of the Seas cruise ship as it sails from the STX Saint-Nazaire ship­yard in France.

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