MINING magnate Clive Palmer has formed a new commercial shipping business to service his Queensland Nickel Group's ore importation freight activities.
The business will be known as Asia Pacific Shipping Enterprises and will operate a fleet of Chinese-manufactured ships out of Singapore.
Mr Palmer said the new shipping business would commission four,64,000 tonne vessels to be built by the state-owned Chinese company CSC Jinling Shipyard.
On Monday Mr Palmer announced the same company would build a 21st century version of the luxury cruise ship Titanic, which he named Titanic II.
"The Jinling shipyard has delivered and exported hundreds of large vessels to buyers from more than 20 countries," he said.
"The company was founded 60 years ago and boasts a 1.23 million sq m factory and the largest comb-type slipway in the world, which has set a Guinness world record for the heaviest launching weight of a vessel by a side slipway."
Queensland Nickel Group also owns the Palmer Nickel and Cobalt Refinery near Townsville, the five-star Coolum Resort on the Sunshine Coast, the Robina Wood and Colonial Golf courses on the Gold Coast and the Styx Coal development project in central Queensland.
"This is an exciting time for the Queensland Nickel Group of Companies, which has an expanding international footprint across Asia and the South Pacific region," Mr Palmer said.
"The group has been expanding from minerals processing activities to embrace tourism and hospitality, resource exploration and development and shipping opportunities.
"I'm proud of the capable and committed people in the Queensland Nickel Group of Companies who continue to strive to develop and grow the business. We are well positioned to embrace further development opportunities."