Shanghai said yesterday it would demolish 15,000 homes to clear the site for the World Expo in 2010. The area, next to the Huangpu River, is crowded with apartment buildings, a large steel plant and one of the city's three shipyards. Plans for the clearance were announced by Huang Jianzhi, a senior official of the Expo Office Co-ordination Bureau. 'We will start the relocation process before the end of next year and it must be completed by the end of 2006. This will involve moving 15,000 households. This should not be considered a large figure, since each year Shanghai relocates 70,000 to 80,000 households.' He said the government would publish details of the relocation process and of compensation to be paid to households in the first half of next year. Mr Huang said two companies would be set up to oversee the process - the World Expo Group and the Expo Land Company. Both companies welcomed Chinese and foreign specialists, especially those from Hong Kong, to apply to work for them, he said. There are 29 vacant positions in the World Expo Group and 18 with the land company.