Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Want to buy a second-hand aircraft-carrier?
On the news this evening was a curious piece about China's first aircraft-carrier which is just about ready for launch. What was interesting was that it was bought in a Ukraine auction for 20m dollars in 1998. The ship's construction had started in a Russian Black Sea port in the late 80s, which then became Ukrainian, after which the shipbuilding company went out of business. It was bought by a Hong Kong travel agency, originally as a floating casino in Macao. The only problem was, it didn't have an engine, so they had to tow it all the way to China with various dramas along the way (including being adrift in a storm in the Aegean and having to go all the way round Africa as the Suez Canal won't accept engine-less ships). In the end the casino license wasn't forthcoming so it ended up in Dalian shipyard on the mainland where it's reverting to its originally-intended use. Reminds me of the German steel factory that was shipped over, though not towed.