Posted on January 8, 2024
From the Adora Magic City‘s completion of its maiden commercial voyage on Sunday to Chinese shipbuilders obtaining the most orders from global clients in 2023, China’s high-end manufacturing sector, represented by the steadily progressing shipbuilding industry, has become a new driving force in the country’s economic development.
The Adora Magic City, China’s first domestically built large cruise ship, completed its maiden commercial voyage on Sunday after taking more than 3,000 tourists from 16 countries and regions for a seven-day trip to destinations in South Korea and Japan.
China has been advancing its shipbuilding technology especially in high-value added segments with strong international competiveness. The ability to build ultra-large container ships and use green fuels is also leading the world, Zheng Ping, chief analyst with industry news portal chineseport.cn, told the Global Times on Sunday.
Last year, Chinese shipyards won the highest number of global orders, with deliveries as far off as 2028, according to media reports.
The delivery dates for Guangzhou Shipyard International Co run into 2027 and 2028, as fleet operators worldwide are attracted by the company’s strengths in green production and environmental protection, said Li Hao, an official from the company, as China Media Group (CMG) reported on Saturday.
More than 60 percent of the company’s on-hand orders are methanol-powered dual-fuel ships or LNG- fired (liquefied natural gas) () dual-fuel models. Compared with conventional container ships, ultra-large container ships powered by dual-fuel sources can reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent, nitrogen oxide emissions by 85 percent and sulfur emissions by 99 percent, CMG reported.
In 2023, Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group delivered 17 vessels, which was 106 percent of the annual plan. The number of medium- and high-end vessels exceeded 90 percent of the total deliveries, the company said in a statement it sent to the Global Times earlier. Hudong-Zhonghua is now building 16 LNG vessels simultaneously, and it plans to deliver nearly 50 LNG carriers in the next five years.
China has basically closed the technological gap with South Korea in building high-value added ships, Zheng said, and China’s shipbuilding boom will persist this year.
In 2023, Chinese shipbuilders won the most new orders worldwide for a total of 24.46 million compensated gross tons (CGT), 59 percent of the total, data from UK-based Clarksons Research showed. South Korea was second for the third consecutive year with 10.01 million CGT.
China’s shipbuilding industry is striving to advance its high-quality development through intelligent and green technology.
The intelligent transformation has also boosted the efficiency of shipbuilding, which is traditionally a labor-intensive process. Through intelligent transformation, the entire workshop for building a ro-ro passenger ship with more than 20,000 square meters can be reduced from 200 people to 50 people by integrating more automation and robotics technology, according to the CMG report.
Intelligent ports are becoming popular in China with the expanding utilization of autonomous trucks and other types of smart equipment, Zheng said.
He said that the domestic industry is still in the early stages of smart development, and more emerging technologies will be integrated into future manufacturing.
From January to November 2023, China completed ships totaling 38.09 million deadweight tons (dwt), up 12.3 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
New orders rose 63.8 percent to 68.45 million dwt, and orders on hand totaled 134.09 million dwt as of the end of November.