China has begun work on what will become its biggest and most technically advanced shipbuilding center with an annual capacity of 1.8 million tons. The first stage of the shipbuilding center, located in Shanghai's Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone along the banks of the Yangtze River
, is expected to be completed in three years. It will then have an annual capacity of 1.05 million tons, and contain two 300,000-ton dry docks.
Three major Chinese companies, China State Shipbuilding Corp., Shanghai Baosteel Group Corp. and Shanghai Electric (Group) Corp., have set up a company to operate the shipbuilding center. China Shipbuilding will hold more than 50 percent of the company, to be called Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co.