An Australian billionaire said on Monday it will build a high-tech replica of Titanic in a Chinese shipyard and the maiden voyage will take place in late 2016, a voyage between England and New York, as the original.Weeks after the centenary of the original Titanic, Clive Palmer said Monday it signed a preliminary contract with the state-owned China Jinling Shipyard CSC to build the Titanic II."It will be as luxurious as the original Titanic, but ... will feature the latest technology of the XXI century and the latest navigation and safety systems," Palmer said in a statement. The project, he said, is "a tribute to the spirit of men and women who worked on the original Titanic."
More than 1,500 people died when the Titanic hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic during its maiden voyage. It was the largest and most luxurious liner of her time.Palmer made a fortune in real estate in the Gold Coast of Australia before turning to coal mining. BRW magazine said Palmer has the fifth fortune in Australia with over 5,000 million Australian dollars (5,200 million).Palmer told a news conference that previous attempts to build a replica of the Titanic failed to raise sufficient funds, or find the right yard. The Titanic II is the first of four luxury cruise ships commissioned by CSC Jinling shipyard Palmer at Shipyard.Palmer did not provide an estimate of costs. He added that created a new shipping company, Blue Star Line Pty. Ltd., and the design of the Titanic II has begun with the help of a team of historical research.