Constructors think big in designs for range of new ships

2023-06-20 08:11:36China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China's first domestically built large cruise ship, Adora Magic City, build by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co, a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation, completes its undocking process in Shanghai on June 6, 2023. (LONG WEI/FOR CHINA DAILY)

Having maintained their leading market share position for more than 13 years, Chinese shipbuilders are continuing to pursue quality development of high-value-added vessels, industry experts said.

China remains the world's leading shipbuilder, with its output last year accounting for nearly 50 percent of the global total in terms of dead-weight tonnage, data from the China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry show. The nation's new orders and existing orders accounted for 55.2 percent and 49 percent of the global share, respectively.

Niels Rasmussen, chief shipping analyst at the Baltic and International Maritime Council, was quoted as saying by Xinhua News Agency that last year, Chinese shipbuilders accounted for about 47 percent of the global market share, overtaking the combined total of Japan and South Korea.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology's WeChat account disclosed that in the first quarter of this year, Chinese shipbuilders accounted for 43.5 percent of total output globally, nearly 63 percent of the global market's new orders, and nearly 51 percent of existing orders.

Lin Guolong, director of Shanghai Maritime University's Logistics Research Center, said the global shipbuilding industry plans to construct larger, more intelligent and specialized vessels that consume less energy and emit less pollution. He suggested Chinese shipbuilders follow this trend to achieve high-quality development.

Major Chinese shipbuilders have made progress recently in developing high-value-added vessels.

The nation's first domestically made large cruise ship, the Adora Magic City, completed its undocking in Shanghai on June 6, a step closer to its long-awaited delivery by the end of this year.

The vessel is scheduled to make its first trial voyage next month, and a second trial is due to take place in August, its constructor, Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co, a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corp, or CSSC, said.

Chen Gang, general manager of Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding and chief designer of the shipyard's large cruise ship project, described the undocking as a new milestone in China's cruise manufacturing.

Since a steel sheet-cutting ceremony was held for the vessel in October 2019, construction of the huge ship has attracted widespread attention for its design complexity and decoration.

The 323.6-meter-long, 37.2-meter-wide vessel required 12 million manhours of work. The ship boasts more than 20,000 sets of equipment, 25 million components, 4,200 kilometers of cables, 350 km of pipelines and 450 km of air pipes, sourced from more than 500 global suppliers, CSSC said.

Work on the 135,500-gross-tonnage vessel is 93 percent complete, with more than 85 percent of the interior decoration finished, the manufacturer said.

Adora Cruises Ltd said the vessel aims to offer a unique and immersive experience that blends Eastern and Western cultures. Shanghai has been chosen as the ship's home port for its inaugural season.

The vessel, which can accommodate 5,246 passengers, boasts China's largest duty-free shopping center aboard an oceangoing ship. It is also the world's first cruise ship covered by a 5G network.

Construction of the nation's second domestically built large cruise ship started in August.

In late April, Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Co, which is based in Shanghai and is a CSSC subsidiary, delivered the world's largest VLGC (very large gas carrier) to its Singaporean owner, Petredec Global.

The 230-meter-long, 36.6-meter-wide vessel can carry 93,000 cubic meters of liquefied gas. It is the first of the fourth-generation VLGC ships independently developed and designed by Jiangnan Shipyard.

Wei Xiaoyong, the company's chief constructor, said that since receiving its first VLGC order in 2012, the shipyard had been tasked with building 52 such vessels as of late April, and will soon lead the global VLGC market long dominated by Japanese and South Korean shipbuilders.

Hu Keyi, chief of corporate technology at Jiangnan Shipyard, said that along with the VLGC, the yard is spearheading the development of liquefied natural gas carriers, large-scale container ships and PCTCs (pure car and truck carriers).

Ultra-large container ships have become signature vessels for leading Chinese shipbuilders.

In early April, CSSC, the world's largest shipbuilder, and French shipping group CMA CGM signed a deal to build 16 super-sized container ships — the largest single order by value received by a Chinese shipbuilder.

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