Australian billionaire mining magnate Clive Palmer has unveiled plans to build a 21st-century Titanic — the Titanic II — to be built in China.
Palmer, who also flagged ambitions to enter politics at the next Australian national elections, said his new company Blue Star Line had commissioned CSC Jinling Shipyard to build a near-replica of the ill-fated cruise ship, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“It is going to be designed so it won’t sink,” Palmer told reporters. “It will be designed as a modern ship with all the technology to ensure that doesn’t happen.”
The original Titanic, which struck an iceberg and sank on April 15, 1912, was also marketed as unsinkable.
Palmer said the ship’s maiden voyage from England to North America had been scheduled for late 2016, the Brisbane Times reported.
Asked if the Titanic II could sink, Palmer said: “Of course it will sink if you put a hole in it.
However, he said: “It will be designed as a modern ship with all the technology to ensure that doesn’t happen.
“But, of course, if you are superstitious like you are, you never know what could happen.”
He said the ship, “every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic,” was a tribute to the spirit of the men and women who constructed the original Titanic, in its day the world’s largest liner.
“These people produced work that is still marveled at more than 100 years later and we want that spirit to go on for another 100 years,” he said.
Palmer, from the resources-rich state of Queensland, has strong business relations with China, and has expanded his business interests into tourism, BBC reported.
He plans to build a fleet of luxury liners long with his Titanic replica.
Meanwhile, Palmer used a separate news conference on the same day to reveal his other plans to contest the next federal election in the Queensland seat of Lilley, held by Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan.
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Swan recently made headlines attacking Australia’s super wealthy as a threat to democracy, and a “poison” that had “infected our politics and is seeping into our economy.”
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