The world's largest shipbuilding facility is set to be built on Changxi Island on the Yangtze River by 2015. Under the control of China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), the country's largest commercial shipbuilder, the Shanghai government is provide some 8km of Changxi's coastline for the US$3bn project.
Part of the new complex will consist of two Shanghai shipyards, Jiagnan and Hudong-Zhonghua, which are to be relocated from suburban areas to make space for the 2010 World Expo. The remaining part of the huge shipyard complex will be formed by the construction of new berths.
The new Changxi facility is expected to be able to construct 15m tonnes of ships a year by 2015, which would represent around 60 per cent of China's anticipated shipbuilding capacity by 2015. By then, China should have leapfrogged Japan and South Korea to become the world's biggest shipbuilder.
CSSC will probably retain control of Changxi, both during the construction phases and the operational running of the yards. However, senior officials in the Shanghai government have confirmed they are seeking foreign investment to ensure the plan is completed on time. Overseas companies are also to be given the chance to invest in the operation and management of the yards once they have been completed.
Construction groundwork will start in November, and the entire complex should be operational by 2011.