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Shanghai Company Breaks into Shipbuilding Top 10
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Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co, the country's top shipbuilder, churned out 3.11 million deadweight-tons (DWT) of ships last year, making it the world's eighth-largest shipyard.

This is the first time a domestic shipbuilder has crossed the 3 million DWT landing and leapt into the world's top 10 shipbuilding league table by output.

"It is a milestone in the history of China's shipbuilding industry," said Wu Di, the company's chairman, at a ceremony to mark the event.

"Building on our success (in 2006), we will build an even greater number of ships in 2007," said Chen Minjun, the company's general manager, although he refused to disclose the specific target.

Despite the rising cost of raw materials such as steel, the shipbuilder still managed to rack up a record profit of 1 billion yuan in 2006, the company said.

"This is largely thanks to our increased spending on production technology and innovation, which offset the rising costs associated with high steel and other material prices," said Chen.

The company has received orders for more than 80 ships, totaling 14 million DWT and valued at about $5 billion until 2010.

The huge orders also make the Shanghai-based shipyard one of the world's top 10 ship makers in terms of orders received, according to London-based shipbroker Clarkson Plc.

The country's flagship shipbuilder, jointly owned by China State Shipbuilding Corporation, Baosteel, Shanghai Electric and the China Shipbuilding Trading Corporation, delivered 2.17 million DWT in 2005, making it the first domestic shipyard to cross the 2 million DWT mark.

The Shanghai-based shipbuilder, founded in 1999, made a profit of 238 million yuan in 2005.

China, now the world's third-biggest shipbuilder by output after Japan and South Korea, is striving to become the world's top shipyard by 2015, by when the country is expected to build 24 million DWT of ships a year.

The country built about 12 million DWT of ships in 2005, accounting for 18 percent of the world's total, according to figures from the China Association of National Shipbuilding Industry. The 2006 output is expected to have reached 14 million DWT.

Chinese shipyards fulfilled about 20 percent of global orders for ships in terms of cargo capacity, according to London-based shipbroker Clarkson Plc. Hyundai, the world's biggest ship-maker and other South Korean shipbuilders took 35 percent with Japan's shipyards claiming about 32 percent, according to Clarkson.

(China Daily January 4, 2007)

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