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Chinese Tech Aid for Katrina Hit
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China is no longer considered good only as a manufacturing base, for its expertise in other fields is attracting people from across the globe, and that includes the United States.

A construction project that can build a house within five hours has generated excitement among officials and attracted experts and real estate businessmen from Mississippi and Florida, two of the many US states to be hit by Hurricane Katrina late August last year.

The team from Mississippi and Florida is in Beijing seeking help to rebuild houses in the devastated areas.

The American visitors were awe-struck after seeing a house built in just three hours yesterday morning.

Though Katrina devastated Louisiana, especially New Orleans, the most, it left a trail of destroyed or damaged houses in other states too.

Taikong panel is a lightweight foam cement-based composite building material widely used in long-span industrial plants, large-scale public facilities and steel structured residential buildings.

Beijing Taikong Panel Industry Corp general manager Fan Zhi said yesterday that the supply of this product was 600,000 square metres a year.

And its buyers include FAW-Volkswagen, Changfeng Liebao Automobile, Harbin Power, China National Offshore Oil Corp and some other big names. 

"High-efficiency, energy saving, fire-resistant and waterproof qualities along with Taikong panel-based building scheme's 50-year-plus serviceability are its prominent features," Fan said.

"The house we saw today will be a leading edge commodity product in the US," said CMI Real Estate & Marketing CEO Neil Eisner from Florida.

"The main structure can be ready in a day or two, cutting out production time by 50 percent or more. The product meets US requirements and is acceptable in the country."

"For some specific areas of the US where high quality houses have to be built, this product is a perfect match. The  company can be a long-term supplier," Eisner said.

Brent Warr, mayor of Gulfport in Mississippi, agreed with Eisner, hoping to hold more talks with Chinese business circles.

"This is very exciting and promising, and we are very impressed by the good quality, price and long lasting characteristics," Warr said.

A US agent has signed an agreement with Taikong Corp to sell 10,000 sets of the panels. The future market in the US can be up to ten times that, experts said.

(China Daily January 16, 2007)

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