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Asia's largest dredger Tiankun begins sea trial, to boost China's capability in island building

Tiankun to boost China’s capability in island building

Tiankunphoto: Zhao Yusha/GT

Tiankun, Asia's largest dredger, is expected to begin its first sea trial on Friday, a signal of China's improving capability in island building, Chinese experts said on Thursday.

The trial, which will take place in waters near Qidong, East China's Jiangsu Province, will test Tiankun's power system and make sure it functions in all circumstances, said Wei Yaxin, an employee of the Tianjin Dredging Company, which designed the dredger.

If the trial goes well, Tiankun will enter service at the end of August, said Wang Jian, deputy chief engineer of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), the parent company of Tianjin Dredging Company.

Once in use, "Tiankun will speed up the pace of China's island building," Wang said.

Tiankunis China's first domestically designed and manufactured dredger. Its construction began in December 2015 in Jiangsu Province to meet China's economic and national defense needs, according to a statement sent to the Global Times by the CCCC.

China used to buy costly dredgers assembled or designed overseas.

"Compared with imported dredgers, Tiankunhas helped us save at least one third of the costs," Wang said.

The dredger cannot be exported or sold to foreign countries as the Ministry of Commercelimited exports of large engineering ships in May 2017.

Tiankunis able to blast through seabed rock and sucks up sand, using a 6,600-kilowatt cutting tool, Wang said.

It can dredge in ports, coastal waters or deep sea, CCCC said on its website.

Tiankuncan excavate 6,000 cubic meters of silt per hour and reach a maximum depth of 35 meters below the sea level.

Tiankunhas larger steel poles and is therefore more stable than the company's previous dredger Tianjing. Other advanced features included an all-electric vessel design equipped with dual positioning system and unlimited global navigation; oil changes dependent on local conditions; and minimized impact on the marine environment through better means of breaking rocks before excavation.

To support the Belt and Roadinitiative, Tianjing since December has dredged channels and helped build ports in Ghana, said Wei. Tianjing will remain there for another four years, he said. "Only countries who share a good diplomatic relationship with China are likely to borrow such dredgers."

Source:Global Times  Editor:lirui

(Source_title:Asia's largest dredger Tiankun begins sea trial, to boost China's capability in island building)