China's largest dry dock begins service
CHINA'S largest dry dock is in operation at the Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard.
Analysts say this month's opening of the 150,000 dwt dock is a milestone in China's ship repair industry.
'The dock meets the country's demand for large-scale docks, especially those over 50,000 dwt,' said Wang Naijie, an official of the shipyard.
Although shipyards have developed rapidly in recent years, the shortage in repair facilities has limited China to less than one per cent of the international market, Mr Wang said.
The yard's original dock is 300 metres in length, 62 metres in width and 11.9 metres in depth. Each year, it was expected to repair more than 60 ships.
The modernisation, launched in June 1992, was one of the major projects in the Eighth Five-Year Plan.
The dock was equipped with advanced facilities and repair equipment, and connected with docks for 150,000-dwt and 10,000-dwt ships.
Investment in the project totalled 310 million yuan (HK$284.3 million).
The shipyard also built dry docks for 15,000-dwt and 25,000-dwt ships.
'Our shipyard now is the largest repair facility in the country,' Mr Wang said.
The 150,000-dwt dock has increased China's competitiveness in the Southeast Asian market, enabling the shipyard to meet the needs of the international market.
The facility should be able to make use of nearby Hong Kong's role in Far East shipping to get more business, analysts say.