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BEIJING - China Shipbuilding Industry Corp. (CSIC), one of the two largest shipbuilding conglomerates in China, said Wednesday that the company is developing a manned submersible that can dive to a depth of 4,500 meters.
The move came as part of a greater plan for the nation to eventually build a deep sea station where submersibles can dock and oceanauts can work.
The CSIC, builder of the Jiaolong manned submersible, said at a press conference that the Jiaolong sub has returned to its test base since completing deep sea diving missions, and it will be handed over for use after maintenance.
The sub, which made record dives of more than 7,000 meters in the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench during a 44-day test mission, will be used to conduct scientific research next year, the Beijing-based state-owned company said.
The CSIC will work with related government departments to further push forward the research and development of deep-sea equipment, it said.
According to a report released at the conference, the company, one of the world's top 500 companies, saw its revenues and profits grow 14 percent and 10 percent, respectively, in 2011, despite a crisis-struck shipbuilding sector.
The CSIC, the country's major navy equipment supplier and shipbuilder, has an annual shipbuilding capacity of 15 million tonnes and its products are sold in more than 60 countries and regions.