China To Build 21st-century Titanic II

Australian billionaire Clive Palmer plans to build a 21st-century replica of the Titanic and sail it from England to New York accompanied by the Chinese navy by the end of 2016.

Palmer has signed a first-stage agreement with Nanjing- based CSC Jinling Shipyard to build the ship as part of a planned fleet of luxury liners, the Gold Coast, Queensland-based businessman said in an statement today. Palmer’s investments include property developments, coal and iron-ore mining projects, a nickel smelter, a soccer team and a horse stud.

“It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic, but of course it will have state-of-the-art 21st century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems,” said Palmer, 58. “We have invited the Chinese navy to escort Titanic II on its maiden voyage to New York.”

Palmer’s ship will have the same dimensions as the original Titanic, with 840 rooms on nine decks as well as gymnasiums, swimming pools, libraries and restaurants, he said.

A historical research team had started design work on the ship, which would also include an exhibition room in place of the original’s coal boilers to “showcase Queensland and its abundance of opportunities,” he said in the statement.

Blue Star Line was registered on April 18 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Palmer’s Mineralogy Pty., according to its only document filed with Australia’s securities regulator. Palmer and Derek Payne, manager of his Cold Mountain horse stud, are the only officers listed in the three-page filing.

Fifth-Richest Australian

The mining magnate has a fortune of A$5.05 billion ($5.3 billion) and is Australia’s fifth-richest person, according to BRW magazine rankings. He is developing coal and iron-ore mines in Australia, including the $8 billion China First coal project in Queensland state.

Palmer said Chinese companies want to break into cruise- ship building. European companies, led by Italy’s Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani SpA, Norway’s STX Europe AS and Germany’s Meyer Werft GmbH, dominate the global cruise ship- building market, according to a 2010 presentation by Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. last November completed two ships for Carnival Corp. (CCL)

“The Chinese ship-building industry with our assistance wants to be a major player in this market,” he said.


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