Is Clive Palmer’s Titanic II sinking again?
IT has yet to set sail, but Clive Palmer's second attempt to build his vanity project the Titanic II appears to be lost at sea.
The resurgent billionaire promised "major announcements" in 2020 regarding his long-promised replica of the famously doomed luxury liner.
But with just days left in the year there have been no announcements, contractors have gone silent, as has the company he set up to run the project Blue Star Line.
It followed a flurry of announcements in late 2018, including announcing new contractors to design and engineer the 270m vessel.
Finnish design company DeltaMarin have confirmed to The Courier-Mail that Blue Star Line is a client, but that they have been directed by the client that already correspondence goes through Mr Palmer's company, while UK engineering firm Lloyd's Register said they had signed a confidentiality agreement.
Blue Star Line, and its global project director Baljeet Singh, did not respond to questions.
It has also discontinued an automatic email response which previously declared they have been "overwhelmed by messages of support" and that there was no information was available yet regarding ticketing or launch dates.
Mr Palmer initially announced the Titanic II project in 2012 and held in a lavish official launch in New York the following year, with an ambitious 2016 completion date.
Since then both he and the Titanic II have run into issues, including his companies Queensland Nickel and Palmer Aviation going into liquidation, though he has bounced back after winning a drawn-out legal dispute with his Chinese business partners Citic Pacific which has seen him pocket hundreds of millions of dollars a year in iron ore royalties.
In 2018, there were reports of a new launch date of 2022, though this was then scaled back again to no set launch by the end of 2019.
There was a gala dinner held in April 2019, but no further activity has been announced about the project since then.
According to Australian Securities and Investments Commission documents, Blue Star Line, named for White Star Line the company which owned the original Titanic, was registered as a business in April 2012.
When Mr Palmer relaunched the project in September 2018 he said the delays had been due to the dispute with Citic Pacific.
"Blue Star Line will create an authentic Titanic experience, providing passengers with a ship that has the same interiors and cabin layout as the original vessel, while integrating modern safety procedures, navigation methods and 21st century technology to produce the highest level of luxurious comfort,'' Mr Palmer said at the time.