Welder Zhang fires up his blow torch and looks up at the towering, 8,800-tonnes oil tanker that is likely to be his last job at China‘s privately owned Qiligang Shipbuilding Co.
Barring a miracle, the 50-year-old will soon join the thousands of unemployed shipbuilders who have fallen victim to the end of China’s maritime boom and the long-awaited consolidation of its more than 1,600 shipbuilding companies.
Four years into one of the worst downturns to afflict the global shipping industry, hundreds of small to mid-sized shipyards are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy as foreign orders dwindle and domestic lenders slash credit.
“The building of this ship is almost done, and we don’t expect to have any new jobs soon,” said Zhang, who asked to be identified by one name.
“We used to work 30 days a month, but now we work only 10 to 20 days because not…
View original post 788 more words