China to enter cruise liner building market
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
Speedboats pass the Harmony of the Seas cruise ship as it sails from the STX Saint-Nazaire shipyard in France.