A prototype picture of the Titanic replica (Photo: Courtesy of Seven Star)
A Chinese State-run shipbuilder began assembling parts for the Titanic replica over the weekend, a project invested by Chinese company Seven Star Energy Investment Group in Daying, a county in Southwest China's Sichuan Province.
Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group Corp, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC)'s shipyard in Wuhan, capital city of Central China's Hubei Province, is building 3,200 parts for a full-scale Titanic replica and the construction of the body of the ship will need about 20,000 tons of steel, Wang Weiling, vice general manager of the Wuchang shipyard, told the Global Times during a press conference about the project held in Daying on Saturday.
"It's the first time we are rebuilding a ship that launched 100 years ago and it's a challenging one," Wang said.
In 2013, private Chinese company Seven Star brought up the idea of rebuilding the famous passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic in 1912.
The replica project, which is estimated to cost around 1 billion yuan ($161.2 million), will be the main attraction at Seven Star's planned theme park in Daying.
Seven Star later launched the Titanic Foundation at the Boao Forum 2015 in March, which aims to help victims of shipwreck accidents and highlight the humanity that the Titanic story represents, said Su Shaojun, CEO of Seven Star.
The luxury line will be open to visitors in October 2017, said Su, noting that 5 percent of the liner's cabin sales, 3 percent of the liner's ticket sales and 1 percent of the theme park's revenue will go to the Titanic Foundation.
Su said Seven Star is now cooperating with US-based designers to come up with more precise dimensions and layout of the liner.
From facilities to utilities, "we hope this life-size Titanic replica will bring us back to 1920s," said Su, noting that the company will recreate many iconic features of the ship such as the first-class grand staircase and the promenade decks, which were both seen in the Titanic blockbuster movie that was co-produced by Hollywood filmmaker James Cameron in 1997.
However, it is not as simple as just rebuilding a replica.
The new liner has to meet China's shipbuilding standards such as a code on noise levels on board that became mandatory in July 2014 and an effluent standard for ship pollutants in China, Wang said, noting that all of these will make it very different from the original one.
"We usually build every part of a ship in our manufacturing lines indoors, however it will be the first time we'll be assembling every part for the ship together in another province, which is very demanding," Wang said.
After finished all the parts for the replica, the shipbuilder will ship them package by package from its headquarters in Wuhan to Daying.
In addition, eight cranes will be used for the assembling, Wang noted.
The new liner will be permanently docked on a river in the theme park, but visitors will be able to experience the iceberg collision through a high-tech simulation ride installed in the park, according to Su.