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Australian billionaire will build "Titanic 2" to mark centenary

Clive Palmer, one of the world's richest men, wants the ship to be "as similar as possible" to the o

The Australian mining billionaire Clive Palmer has launched his plans to build a replica of the world-famous Titanic ship.

Palmer, who is one of the world's richest men, has commissioned a Chinese state-owned firm to start work on the Titanic 2 at the end of next year. He hopes that the vessel will make its maiden voyage from London to New York in 2016.

Palmer said in a statement: "It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic but of course it will have state-of-the-art 21st century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems."

The new liner will have the exact same dimensions as the original ship, with 840 rooms and nine decks.

The news comes weeks after the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic - marked by a memorial cruise ship making a similar voyage across the Atlantic. 

RMS Titanic sank on 15 April 1912 after colliding with an iceberg, killing more than 1,500 people. At the time, the ship was the world's biggest and most luxurious ocean liner.

Palmer said that he wanted to pay tribute to those who built the original vessel 100 years ago. He said: "These people produced work that is still marvelled at more than 100 years later and we want that spirit to go on for another 100 years."

He added: "It is going to be designed so it won't sink - but of course, if you are superstitious like you are, you never know what could happen."