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Beyond the Olympics
China Achievements in 2008

31 January 2009

2008, an Olympic year, is a huge turning point for China in many ways, where this ancient civilisation encountered massive challenges and accomplished great achievements. The following are some of the terrific Chinese projects completed in 2008:

The World's Biggest Jib Crane Ship - Blue Whale 蓝鲸号

This crane ship was built from scratch by Shanghai Zhenggang. It cost 1.5 billion yuans and took two and half years to complete from concept design to finishing touch.

It is an ocean-going vessel with its lifting beam capable of reaching wells 150 metres deep in the sea, or hoisting containers to the height of 125 metres above the water surface.

Chiefly designed for offshore oil platform construction, it can also loading and unloading any other bulky items with a single lift over 7,000 tons, weighted heavier than the entire Eiffel Tower in Paris .

At the moment China is reportedly working on a crane ship that is said to be able to accommodate a single lift of over 20,000 tons.

Deep Well Drill

Records show ancient Chinese were the first people in human history to bring oil and natural gas from deep within the earth to surface for lighting and heating. The earliest wells in China could be dated back to the fourth century, and the locals used bits attached to bamboo poles to recover the resource about 240 metres below the ground. However, the majority of China's oil deposits are estimated to be at least 5000 metres beneath the ground surface, which are believed to be far beyond the reach of bamboo poles.

Up until early last year, only the United States had equipment for well drilling with the depth up to more than 10,000 metres. The situation has changed since March 2008, however, when an oil field in Mianzhu Township (绵竹市) - the centre of the 5.12 earth quake - in Sichuan, has been equipped with a drill with a capacity to go to a desired target at depths as great as 12,000 metres.

The World's Biggest Floating Dock


This massive floating dock costs 580 million yuans and is capable of repairing any sized ships in today's world.

Measuring at 410 metres long by 82 metres wide, it has a height of 28 metres, equivalent to a 10-storey building.

The World's Biggest Computer Numerically Controlled Lathe

This gigantic DL250 CNC horizontal lathe is 50 metres in length and weights 1,450 tons, with a total power of 284kw. It is able to process items up to 20 metres long and achieve an accuracy up to 0.006 mm.

Designed and manufactured by a company in Wuhan, this futuristic machine can be used in various industries, including hydropower engineering, nuclear power engineering, shipbuilding, space projects as well as military programs.

The World's Largest Eco-Friendly Super Oil Cargo Ship.- Mt Hua 华山号

With a capacity of 318,000 tons, this enormous marine giant can accommodate three soccer fields on its deck, and when it looms large on the foreshore landscape, it is at the same height as a 20-storey skyscraper.

Cost 1 billion yuans to build, this is believed to be the first super oil cargo ship that meets all the requirements recommended by Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) regulated by International Annealed Copper Standard (IACS). Reportedly Shanghai dockyard has already received orders to build other 16 ships in the same model.

The measures taken place to ensure the ship being eco-friendly include installing permanent inspection passageways about every 6 metres so as to enable crew to monitor the situations with cargos, using double hull protection for fuel oil tank, applying coating materials exclusive of metallic tin, recycling nitrogen and sulphur dioxide produced by burning the fuel, and facilitating the ballast water exchange at sea.

The World's Biggest Overhead Bridge Crane - Mt Tai 泰山

Despite this bridge crane has huge English letters painted on the bridge beam, it in fact was built by Chinese engineers in China and operated by Chinese workers, also in China. Further, it has a very Chinese name 泰山(Mt Tai), metaphorically considered as the mightiest earthly formation in this ancient land, since the crane is, by any means, the mightiest bridge crane in the world. It has the runway span up to 125 metres - which is the longest on the planet - a capacity to lift items weighted up to 20,000 tons and hoist the loads over 118 metres high, that practically means it is capable of lifting an entire train with 250 carriages to the rooftop of a 24-storey building, the power as such is unmatched by any other bridge cranes known to mankind.

Prev: Chinese New Year Traditions
Next: Take Up the Challenge Again


New Year's Eve Dinner

Chinese president Hu Jintao helps a villager lady in Mt Jingang in Jiangxi Province to make tofu for new year's eve dinner.


- Return to Mt Jinggang, by Chairman Mao Zedong

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao helps a household wife of a resettled family with Qiang minority background in earthquake zone Beichuan to cook a new year's eve dish "pork with black soy sauce".

(Original photos by 鞠鹏 and others in

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