China Shipping Group, the second biggest oceanic transportation conglomerate in China, plans to build its first shipyard by the end of 2008.
This is the second time in less than two months that a heavyweight centrally-administered state-owned enterprise has branched out into the shipbuilding industry.
The Shanghai-based shipping group spent 3.8 billion yuan taking over the assets and debts of the Jiangdu Shipping Company in east China's Zhejiang Province and renamed the wholly-owned subsidiary China Shipping Industrial Company (Jiangsu).
Ground for the new shipyard -- expected to cover an area of 187 hectares and stretch 3,500 meters along the coastline -- has already been broken in the Yanjiang Development Zone of Jiangdu.
The group's product line mainly involves Panamax Container ships with a deadweight of less than 80,000 tons, including bulk cargo ships and oil tankers, and a variety of floating docks with a lifting strength of no more than 30,000 tons.
The parent China Shipping Group said it would lift the annual production capacity of its shipyard to 1.5 million deadweight tons over a period of three years.
On completion, the shipyard is expected to achieve annual sales revenue of 10 billion yuan and generate a yearly tax revenue for the government of more than 1 billion yuan, it said.
The existing six dockyards of China Shipping Group situated in Shanghai and Guangzhou only engage in ship repairs, ship conversions and hull maintenance.
China Shipping Group, established in 1997, boasts five specialized shipping fleets -- oil tankers, coastal vessels, passenger ships, container vessels and special cargo ships -- making a total of more than 440 vessels with an aggregate deadweight of 15 million tons and an annual traffic volume of over 270 million tons.
It is also the holding company of three publicly listed companies, China Shipping Development, China Shipping Container Lines and China Shipping (Hainan) Haisheng which are traded on either the Hong Kong or Shanghai stock markets.
China's is now the world's third largest shipbuilding power after the Republic of Korea and Japan.
The Shanghai Baosteel Group Corp., China's largest steel producer, marched into the shipbuilding industry in March by jointly investing 10 billion yuan with China State Shipbuilding Corporation to build the country's largest shipbuilding base at the estuary of the Yangtze River. (1 U.S. dollar=7.73 yuan)