DALIAN, China) In a drydock at a
shipyard in north-east China's Dalian city, a
300,000-tonne oil tanker is ready for delivery to
Maersk, its hull painted in the Danish shipping
company's trademark blue.
Mammoth task: A
300,000-tonne oil tanker is ready for delivery to Maersk
at a Dalian shipyard, proof of China's success as a
shipbuilding nation and its progress towards the goal of
leading the industry by 2015
Nearby, an offshore
drilling platform has been constructed according to
precise specifications from US company
Both are examples of China's growing
success as a shipbuilding nation and its progress
towards the goal of becoming number one in the industry
'Last year, the order books at Chinese
shipyards surpassed those of Japan, to be second only to
South Korea,' said Li Cheng, assistant general manager
of Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co.
runs the eighth largest shipyard in the world, and last
year delivered 32 vessels totalling three million
deadweight tonnes (dwt).
In terms of new orders,
China was actually number one last year, totalling 98.5
million dwt, or 42 per cent of the global total,
according to the Beijing government.
shipyards have had their business boosted by the very
fast growth of the local economy, which has fuelled
demand for container ships and other vessels,' said Mr
Li. 'If it continues like this, we'll overtake South
Korea.' Chances are it will indeed continue like this.
Dalian shipyard, located in the Gulf of Bohai, has its
order books filled right until 2011.
expansion of the Chinese economy - leading to strong
growth in both exports and imports - is not the only
factor behind this success.
Equally important is
the global boom in shipping. Eighty per cent of the
output of China's shipyards is exported. The result is
that China's share of the global market has expanded
from 18 per cent in 2006 to 23 per cent last year, while
South Korea and Japan account for roughly 35 per cent
each, according to research institute
'It's not impossible that it will
eventually take up the leadership position (ahead of
South Korea),' said Caroline Huot, general manager of
Total Lubmarine for the Asia Pacific.
the will, no doubt. There's a real can-do attitude in
China.' She added the government offers strong support
for the shipbuilding industry, investing large amounts
of money in new shipyards.
The industry is
dominated by two huge state-owned enterprises: China
State Shipbuilding Corporation and China Shipbuilding
Industry Corporation, the parent of the Dalian
But in recent years, it has also seen a
large number of new entrants, in the form of smaller
shipyards run by local governments or private groups, or
set up as joint ventures.
There are now 3,000 of
these smaller shipyards, up from just 350 a decade
At the same time, Chinese shipyards have
succeeded in building up a good reputation.
Chinese companies are very concerned about safety and
They are large and extremely
professional enterprises, and they're just as good as
their counterparts in the United States or Norway,' said
The Dalian shipyard has clients across
the globe, from Gear Bulk, 60 per cent Norwegian-owned,
to Sweden's Stena AB and customers in Greece and
To keep up its competitive advantage, the
Dalian shipyard now spends heavily on research and
development and the continued improvement of the
infrastructure. -- AFP