Forty-thousand alarm clocks buzzed as one, waking an equal number of workers for work at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), the world’s second-largest shipyard, just before dawn on Geoje Island, along South Korea’s southwest coast. As the sun rose, they marched out for another day’s labor at the company’s immense dry docks, dominated by the soaring arc of a Brobdingnagian hull. Giant barge mounted cranes float past the docks, where they had laid each mega-block section, enormous, pre-fabricated ship segments onto a blacktop larger than a Walmart parking lot.
The enormous ship, due for launch on June 28, is the world’s biggest. A behemoth even in a world of behemoths, and the first sibling in a new fleet of 19 sisterships. The vessel will have the ability to carry 18,000 twenty foot shipping containers and will weigh-in at 165,000 metric tons, the equivalent mass of all the gold ever mined.