SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korea's STX Group said Monday it has started operations at a US$1 billion (euro638.3 million) shipbuilding complex in China and will deliver the first complete vessel from the site by the end of this year.
The Dalian complex will carry out the entire shipbuilding process -- from cutting steel and engine assembly to block manufacturing, STX Group said in a statement.
The Dalian facility already has US$3 billion (euro1.9 billion) worth of vessel orders, mainly for bulk carriers and pure car and truck carriers, or PCTCs, the group said.
STX Group said it expects to build about 24 ships a year in Dalian, located in northeast China, from 2009.
STX affiliate STX Shipbuilding is the world's fifth-largest shipbuilder by order backlog.