Thursday, 28 February 2013

Titanic II Return of a Legend.

Australian Tycoon who wants to build replica of the Titanic announces that he will unveil design plans at gala dinner in New York

-Mining magnate Clive Palmer hopes to launch Titanic II in 2016

-He will unveil plans at a gala dinner on board aircraft carrier USS Intrepid

-The menu will be the same as that served on the Titanic on the day it sank

-Design will retain the first, second and third-class divisions of the original

-First voyage will be from China where it will be built to Southampton


PUBLISHED: 15:01 GMT, 4 October 2012 /

The Australian tycoon planning to build a replica of the Titanic says he will unveil designs for his new liner at a gala dinner in New York in December.
Flamboyant billionaire Clive Palmer originally announced plans to build 'Titanic II' - a cruise ship with the same dimensions as its ill-fated predecessor - in April this year.
He will hold a dinner on the retired aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, moored in New York, on December 4 when he will unveil the designs with the help of John F. Kennedy's daughter Caroline.
Among those attending will be the former US president's daughter, his sister Jean Kennedy Smith and New York Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson along with leading US business leaders, Palmer said.
They will be treated to a dinner from the same menu as Titanic passengers on the day it sank on April 12, 1912. 'It will be a chance for the business community of the United States and indeed the world to see the wonderful progress that's been made on our Titanic II project,' Palmer said.
'Since we announced our plan in April we've had a huge amount of interest, particularly from people wanting to know how they can secure a booking for the maiden voyage, along with commercial sponsors.'
The first voyage remains set for 2016, with the boat due to sail from China, where it will be built, to Southampton in England ahead of her maiden passenger journey to New York.
The new ship will mirror its predecessor's dimensions -- measuring 270 metres long (885 feet), 53 metres high and weighing 40,000 tonnes.
It will have 840 rooms and nine decks and retain the first, second and third-class divisions of the original.
Palmer extended an invitation for James Cameron to sail on the ship, saying the Titanic director had complained there were no Titanic-related experiences left for him.
'Well James, this is something you can do,' he said.
Mr Palmer built a fortune on real estate on Australia's Gold Coast tourist strip before becoming a coal mining magnate. More than 1,300 passengers perished when the Titanic hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage on April 12, 1912. Earlier this year, a memorial cruise carrying relatives of Titanic victims among its 1,309 passengers, the same number as on the doomed ship – set sail from Southampton for the Titanic’s wreck site.
BRW magazine reported he was Australia's fifth-richest person last year with an estimated fortune of more than AUS$5billion (£3.2billion).
Mr Palmer said at an earlier press conference that previous attempts to build a Titanic replica failed because proponents failed to raise enough money and commission a shipyard.
The new nine-deck, 840-room ship will be constructed to the same dimensions as the Belfast-built White Star Liner - 270 metres long, 53 metres high and weighing 40,000 tonnes.
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Clive Palmer first announced the project in a press conference on 30 April 2012, following the signature of a memorandum of understanding with state-owned Chinese shipyard CSC Jinling ten days before. On 19 June, it was announced that Finnish naval architecture firm Deltamarin had been commissioned to undertake the design of the ship, and on 17 July a preliminary general arrangement was published.
In October 2012, Blue Star Lines announced that Titanic expert Steve Hall had been appointed as Design Consultant and Historian for the project, and that Titanic interiors expert Daniel Klistorner had been appointed as Interior Design Consultant and Historian.[Hall and Klistorner had previously co-authored books such as Titanic: The Ship Magnificent and Titanic in Photographs, and will give a technical presentation at the unveiling of the designs in New York, as well as at the dinner in London.
Later that month, it was announced that an advisory board would be formed to provide "suggestions and recommendations to Blue Star Line to ensure the Titanic II appropriately and respectfully pays homage to Titanic, her crew and passengers." Terry Ismay, the great-great nephew of White Star Line chairman and Titanic survivor Joseph Ismay will be a member of the board, as well as Helen Benziger, great-granddaughter of Titanic survivor Margaret Brown.
The design for the Titanic II was unveiled at a private event aboard the USS Intrepid in New York City on 26 February 2013. There will also be a dinner held at the Natural History Museum in London on 2 March, which will be accompanied by a display of items salvaged from the Titanic, as well as in Southampton on 5 March.

A New Titanic on the Drawing Board, but Where’s the Captain?


Published: February 19, 2013 in The New York Times /

MACAU — The gala was a grand affair: hundreds of well-dressed guests, lots of musical entertainment, a meal replicating the 11-course feast served to first-class passengers on the Titanic the night it sank and the promise of meeting the wealthy Australian who plans to rebuild not just the menu, but the entire ship.
Just one thing was missing Saturday at the event in Macau: the host, Clive Palmer, a self-made multimillionaire — multibillionaire by some reckonings — who is funding the venture. Mr. Palmer, a larger-than-life character who is as colorful as he is vocal, said he had been held up on other business in Australia.
For most entrepreneurs, a project of this sort — experts estimate the ship, to be constructed in the Chinese city of Nanjing, could cost more than $200 million — would be the focus of their travel and business plans.
Mr. Palmer, however, is a busy man.
“Yes, I was sorry to miss the event, but I got caught up in a meeting on another new project,” Mr. Palmer said by phone from Brisbane on Sunday, adding that the project had to do neither with mining, the cornerstone of his considerable wealth, nor with shipping, but something “completely new.”
Mr. Palmer’s business empire is all over the map. He owns five golf courses in Australia and three resorts, including one in Tahiti.
He has mining and other natural resource assets of the sort that form a large part of the Australian economy. Among them are a nickel refinery and large tracts of land containing coal and iron ore deposits in the states of Queensland and Western Australia.
Then there are the 150 racehorses, five corporate jets and more than 100 vintage cars, which he is planning to exhibit at one of his resorts later this year. Oh, and there is also a large and growing collection of dinosaur models, among them a life-size Tyrannosaurus rex that looms over one of his golf courses.
Despite that varied portfolio, the Titanic project has been greeted with raised eyebrows — in part because of Mr. Palmer’s overall image in Australia as a brash, eccentric entrepreneur.
“In a way, people don’t take him seriously,” said a mining analyst in Sydney, who declined to be identified because he does not formally analyze Mr. Palmer’s business dealings. “You have to discount much of what he says and does with many grains of salt.”
Underlining the split emotions over Mr. Palmer, the Australian National Trust last year added him to its list of National Living Treasures, which includes people like Nicole Kidman; Kylie Minogue; and Paul Keating, a former prime minister of Australia.
The decision brought a fair amount of uproar in Australia.
“There is a sort of grudging respect for him,” said Jason West, a former investment banker who is now an associate professor at Griffith University in Brisbane. “It is very hard to get a handle on him and his business empire,” Mr. West added, “but he has an eye for value — no doubt about it.”Mr. Palmer is also both outspoken and litigious. Political quarrels, for example, prompted him in November to quit the Liberal National Party, of which he had been a member for many years. And on the legal front, Mr. Palmer has begun legal proceedings against Citic Pacific, a Chinese company working to extract iron ore from one of his sites in Western Australia, over the timing of royalty payments due to him.
Mr. Palmer, 58, dropped out of law school and began his working life as a real estate agent.
Most of his wealth stems from the purchases of land that holds iron and coal, whose prices later soared, thanks largely to the ravenous appetite of China. Mr. Palmer’s acquisition of a nickel refinery from the mining giant BHP Billiton turned out to be similarly clever — or lucky — analysts say. Nickel prices climbed after the purchase and the refinery now turns a nice profit. Not all his plans materialize, however. A stock market listing of Resourcehouse, an entity grouping Mr. Palmer’s coal and iron ore assets, was planned in Hong Kong, but pulled in 2011. Meanwhile, the coal sites in Queensland, eastern Australia, require huge investments before coal can actually be mined and shipped.
“There are significant challenges to convert an empty paddock into an operating mine,” said Mr. West of Griffith University. As for the Titanic II, as Mr. Palmer has christened the ship, if all goes according to plan, it will take to the sea by 2016. It will be equipped with high-technology engines, modern conveniences like air-conditioning, 840 cabins and, of course, more lifeboats than the original.
In another big departure from the original — and one that reflects Mr. Palmer’s business ties with Chinese companies — the Titanic II will be built by CSC Jinling Shipyard, a Chinese state-owned company that is also building four bulk carriers for Mr. Palmer’s nickel business. A big reason to commission the Titanic II was to give his Chinese partner the chance to prove itself in the cruise-ship-building business, Mr. Palmer said. China, he said, holds a “dominant position in the cargo business, but they have less than 2 percent in passenger ships.”
The Titanic II, with its universal appeal, Mr. Palmer said, “could become a national showcase for China” and demonstrate that the country has the technical ability to build ships for that segment of the market.
Already, interest among potential passengers has been intense, though construction has not even started.
Blue Star Line, the company managing the Titanic II project, has received tens of thousands of inquiries, and half a dozen people from around the globe have offered to pay more than $1 million to be on the vessel’s maiden voyage, James McDonald, the marketing director, said at a news conference in Hong Kong on Saturday before the Macau gala.
Whether the ship will ever sail, let alone generate cash, remains to be seen.
“At my age, you don’t really worry that much about whether you make money or lose money on something,” Mr. Palmer said. “But I’m pretty convinced that it will be a financial bonanza.”
Kees Metselaar for the International Herald Tribune

A recorded message from Clive Palmer, the tycoon behind the Titanic II project, was played at a press conference in Hong Kong last week. Mr. Palmer also skipped a gala in Macau that was held to promote the project.

 Comparison with the original Titanic
The ship is being designed to be as similar in internal and external appearance to the Titanic as possible. However, modern safety regulations and economic considerations will dictate several major changes to the design, including:
Greater beam for enhanced stability
Welded, not riveted, hull[
 Reduced draught
Bulbous bow for higher fuel efficiency, although moderately sized compared to modern ships[
Stabilisers to reduce roll
Diesel engines driving azimuth thrusters to replace the original coal-fired steam engines
An additional 'safety deck' between C and D decks for modern lifeboats and marine evacuation systems, with the boat deck housing replicas of the original lifeboats. Space for the deck has been made by lowering decks D and below by 2.8 meters, and for the taller centre section of the safety deck, which houses the lifeboats, by raising the superstructure by 1.3 meters. In spite of the reduced draft, space has been made for the lowered decks by removing the orlop deck, which mainly housed the boilers.
New 'escape staircases' in addition to the original staircases, housed in the redundant boiler exhaust uptakes.
Viewing decks in the redundant first two funnels.
No sheer or camber,[ unlike the original. Pronounced sheer was a cosmetic feature of ocean liners, intended to add a graceful appearance to the ship, but made construction more difficult and therefore costly. Renderings released in February 2013 show an upwards rake added to C Deck at the bow and stern to give a superficial appearance of sheer, although an inauthentic wedge-shaped gap has had to be added between C and D decks in these areas to produce this effect.
A higher bridge, as the superstructure has been raised by 1.3 meters by the centre section of the safety deck, and also by the removal of the sheer. This negates the requirement on the original Titanic for lookouts.

 The steam engines and coal-fired boilers of the original Titanic have been replaced with a modern diesel-electric propulsion system. The space which housed the boilers will be used for crew quarters and ships systems. Power will be produced by four Wärtsilä 46F medium-speed four-stroke diesel generating sets; two twelve-cylinder 12V46F engines producing 14,400 kilowatts (19,300 hp) each, and two eight-cylinder 8L46F engines producing 9,600 kilowatts (12,900 hp) each, running on heavy fuel oil and marine gas oil.Propulsion will be by one fixed propeller and two azimuth thrusters which will also be used for manoeuvring, while the replica of the rudder of the Titanic is purely cosmetic, and will not extend substantially below the waterline.

The interior of the ship is intended to be as similar as possible to the original. However, the original wooden panelling does not conform to modern fire regulations, so as in RMS Queen Elizabeth 2, veneers will have to be used. Plans show a layout broadly similar to the original, but with the third-class cabins modernised, and consideration being given to en-suite cabins throughout the ship. The room freed up by eliminating the steam boilers of the original ship will be used for crew quarters and various services.

If built, the Titanic II would represent the first major passenger vessel constructed in China, a country with much more experience of building cargo ships than cruise ships, and a significant investment would be required to ensure it meets the much more stringent safety requirements for passenger vessels.
The Chinese state-owned CSC Jinling shipyard has never built a large passenger vessel. In addition, it has no drydock, instead using side launching from a 200m slipway. The 269m Titanic II would be the largest side-launched vessel in history by a huge margin, and would require a significant extension to the shipyard's facilities.
Representatives from the shipyard have questioned whether the ship can be completed by 2016, and emphasize that no contract has yet been signed.
Clive Palmer has been described as an 'eccentric billionare' with a reputation for bizarre publicity stunts, such as the attempt to create a massive Jurassic Park style dinosaur theme park at his golf resort. It has also been noted that the publicity surrounding the Titanic II coincided with Palmer's announcement of his entry in to Australian federal politics, which was made immediately following the Titanic II conference.Palmer had previously claimed that he was the target of a conspiracy involving Barack Obama, the CIA, the Rockefeller Foundation and Greenpeace, who he believed were attempting to close down his mining operation. In 2010, Palmer started a company called Zeppelin International, with the intention of making a commercially viable Zeppelin.[After the plan came to nothing, it was ridiculed as the 'bizarre move of the year' by Australian business website Smartcompany.[ He has gained a reputation in Australia for floating ambitious and unusual business ideas which he fails to see through, and the Titanic II has been described as 'a classic Clive Palmer announcement'.

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