China's first unmanned ship test base was topped out today and was named Xiangshan Marine Scientific & Technological Port which is to be built as an unmanned ship industrial cluster serving the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.
Situated at the south of Tangjia Bay of Zhuhai National Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone and north of North Lovers Avenue, the 300 million-yuan ($47-million) project covers an area of 32,000 sq.m.(7.9 acres). The first phase has total floorage of more than 50,000 sq.m.(12.4 acres), with access to 26,000 sq.m. (6.4 acres) of the sea and 31 berths. Listed as the key project of Zhuhai and Guangdong province, led and invested by an unmanned ship manufacturer Zhuhai Yunzhou Intelligence Technology, the project will focus on USV marine equipment industry chain and assemble three new-generation high-tech industries, namely, information technology, high-end intelligent equipment, and new materials and industries related to low-carbon economy and the ocean. According to the plan, the external structure construction will be initially completed in November, making it possible to invite some big names to visit while the Airshow China will be holding. The whole project is to be completed until the first quarter of next year.
The Port will be equipped with indoor laboratories, test pools, and marine test area, totaling 108 testing items under 8 categories. The investment on laboratories, test sites, and all R&D equipment will reach 100 million yuan ($15.6 million).
Cheng Liang, General Manager of Zhuhai Yunzhou Intelligence Technology Co Ltd( also known as Oceanalpha Co Ltd ), told the journalist that the operation of the Port will increase the R&D rate of USV of Yunzhou by a factor of 5 to 10. The Port will provide public laboratories, R&D service platforms, and public incubators based on the USV industry chain, including maritime science and technology equipment theme park. As part of the under-construction Wanshan USV test site, the Port will provide platform support to the supplies and staff.
Established in 2010 as China's first high-tech enterprise focusing on the R&D of USV, Yunzhou Intelligence Technology is initiated by Dr. Zhang Yunfei, an expert of the Recruitment Program of Global Experts. Over the past 8 years, the company has launched many innovative products including the world's first eco-friendly unmanned ship, China's first unmanned marine survey boat, China's first unmanned stealth ship. Yunzhou boasts over one hundred patents on USV, which accounts for about a quarter of the world’s total. These patents cover areas of environmental protection, surveying, safety and security and military use.