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Sansha I makes maiden voyage to supply islands

By Xinhua in Haikou | China Daily | Updated: 2015-01-06 07:45

Sansha I makes maiden voyage to supply islands

Sansha I, China's largest and most advanced supply and commuting vessel, sets sail on Monday from Hainan Island for Sansha City on its maiden voyage. Luo Yunfei / China News Service

A ship set sail Monday from Hainan Island for the city of Sansha on its maiden voyage to supply islands in the South China Sea.

Sansha I is the largest and most advanced vessel yet to supply and commute between Hainan Island and islets in the South China Sea.

At an inaugural ceremony held at the ship's home port in Wenchang City, Sansha Mayor Xiao Jie said the new vessel will expand the city's administration in the South China Sea and underpin China's efforts to defend its "blue territory" and safeguard its interests in the sea.

"The all-weather Sansha I can cover all waters in the South China Sea and will reach more islets and reefs in the remote Zhongsha and Nansha island groups," said Feng Wenhai, vice-mayor of Sansha.

Sansha I, 122 meters long and 21 meters wide, has a displacement of 7,800 metric tons. The rollon-rolloff vessel can accommodate up to 456 people and carry 20 standard container trailers.

The ship can navigate 6,000 nautical miles without docking and sail at a speed of up to 19 knots. It also has a helicopter pad to facilitate maritime rescue and islet patrol.

Sailing time between Wenchang City on Hainan Island and Sansha's seat of government at Yongxing Island will be reduced to about 10 hours from 15 hours. Sansha I will make a round trip once a week.

China's southernmost and youngest city, Sansha, was established in July 2012 to administer more than 200 islets, sandbanks and reefs in the Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha island groups as well as 2 million square kilometers of surrounding waters in the South China Sea.

The Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources said the South China Sea's oil reserves are estimated to be around 23 billion to 30 billion ton, with gas reserves believed to total about 20 trillion cubic meters.

Data from the Hainan Provincial Fisheries Research Institute showed that the potential catch in waters administered by Sansha adds up to 5 million tons.

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