30 Apr 2012

Millionaire commissions replica of Titanic

10:52 pm on 30 April 2012

One of Australia's richest men has commissioned a 21st century version of the Titanic.

Mining billionaire Clive Palmer says construction will start at the end of next year and the ship will be ready to sail from London to New York in 2016.

Mr Palmer says he wants it to be as similar as possible to the original in design and specifications - and every bit as luxurious, but with modern technology. It is not known how much it will cost.

He says he has signed a memorandum of understanding with state-owned Chinese company CSC Jinling Shipyard of China to build the replica, which will have the same dimensions as its predecessor with 840 rooms and nine decks.

The announcement comes just weeks after the centenary of the sinking of the ill-fated Titanic, the BBC reports.

The vessel - the largest luxury ship in its time - struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.

It went down on 15 April 1912, leaving more than 1500 people dead.

Asked whether the replica might sink like the original did, Clive Palmer replied: "Of course it will sink - if you put a hole in it.''

Mr Palmer owns a luxury resort on the Sunshine Coast and has plans to build a fleet of luxury liners.