28 March 2013
Amid rumours that work has been halted on China’s tallest building over concerns about dangerous sea sand used in concrete, China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) has said materials used in all its projects meet quality standards.
CSCEC is building the 660-metre Ping An Finance Center in Shenzhen, due to be completed in 2015.
Following a state television newscast on 14 March that investigated concrete in Shenzhen made with sea sand instead of river sand, the city inspected construction projects, including the Ping An tower.
Salt contained in sea sand is thought to corrode steel, which could damage the structural integrity of buildings over time.
China’s Ping An tower
News organisations reported that the Shenzhen government found 31 companies in violation of industry rules, and ordered eight to suspend business for one year for using sea sand.
A number of websites then claimed that construction of Ping An tower itself had been halted, but there is no independent confirmation of this. Bloomberg reported that Kong Qingping, CSCEC vice president, said at a press conference in Hong Kong: "I’m not quite familiar with the incident of the Ping An Finance Center, but we put quality and safety as priority in all our projects in 40 cities, including Shenzhen."
Bloomberg also reported that the developer, Ping An Insurance Group, said in an emailed statement that it had banned CSCEC from using sea sand when they signed the contract.