Construction has begun in China on what is being considered as the world's biggest shipyard, with operations expected to commence in 2007. The shipyard, covering eight kilometres of coast along Shanghai's Changxign Island, will be fully operational by 2015 with annual capacity of eight million tons. Two existing shipyards in Shanghai, the Jiangnan and the Hudong, will be relocated to the new yard. This US$3.6 billion project aims to make China the world's leading shipbuilding nation by transforming its state-run China State Shipbuilding Corp (CSSC) into the world's largest shipbuilder.
CSSC vice general manager Zhou Zhenbo said the yard would be capable of building high-tech liquefied natural gas carriers, supertankers and luxury liners. It will also help boost relevant industries such as steel and engine manufacturing, and create job opportunities for more than 80,000 people. China is already the world's third largest shipbuilder after South Korea and Japan and the Chinese government has made clear it wants to become number one, outlining an ambitious shipbuilding development plan earlier this year.