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Evergreen examines Chinese yard venture

Evergreen examines Chinese yard venture

London: Evergreen chairman Dr Chang Yung-Fa has revealed further details of his  group's interest in investing in a Chinese start-up shipbuilding yard. The  Taiwanese liner company is evaluating a shipyard in Quanzhou in Fujian province which could be equipped with 350,000dwt building dock 'by 2011' if  current plans come to fruition, he told a press conference in London. Energy transport giant Titan also has a yard in Quanzhou.
Negotiations have been underway for the last seven months with the Chinese  authorities and the project would be undertaken in partnership with the Fujian  government.
Dr Chang made clear that Evergreen sees a need for at least 60 new vessels of  between 2,000teu to 4,000teu but that it is unwilling to contract these on the  open market because of current newbuilding prices. Developing Evergreen's own  yard in China would therefore represent a 'trump card,' he said. The planned  350,000dwt dock would be able to build up to four 2,000teu ships  simultaneously and in a second phase of development a second dock could be  added, at which stage the yard might consider third party business. Evergreen  previously had a yard in Japan and while this was sold a few years back, the  group retains core shipbuilding expertise, Dr Chang said.
Questioned on the significance of a Taiwanese company partnering with Chinese  authorities on such a project were it to go ahead, Dr Chang commented that it  would show 'there are ways to circumvent the political stumbling block.'  [30/08/07]

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