Australian billionaire Clive Palmer began his rise to entrepreneurial stardom by buying and selling Australian sea-front real estate. In 2009, he bought a nickle ore refinery from BHP Billiton and immediately cut production by half. By 2010, Palmer had made $200 million from the refinery; employees were well rewarded for their contributions.
Mr Palmer in 2010 said was so happy to have made $200 million from the refinery, he sent all 750 employees on a holiday to Fiji. (Reuters on Sydney Morning Herald)
In partnership with Chinese enterprises, like the Chinese state owned CSC Jinling Shipyard, he announced plans to build a model of the ill-fated Titanic, calling it Titanic II, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of its loss at sea. The maiden voyage will be from shipyards in Singapore to Southampton, UK.
Directly after this announcement, Palmer also announced he will build a fleet of four ocean-going freight ships, also at CSC, to be used to transport nickle ore, a service that is needed as a consequence of the global downturn in the ocean freight industry. Palmer will base the Chinese-built fleet in Singapore from where Asia Pacific Shipping Enterprises, majority-owned by Queensland Nickel Group of Companies, will operate after the fleet is completed (Reuters on Sydney Morning Herald).
With wealth accumulated from real estate, Palmer saw an opportunity in the mining industry when, because of the global downturn in economic conditions, the BHP nickle mines and associated refineries were no longer being operate with the mine closed and the refinery stopped. With the fortune made by keeping the refinery open to international shipments of nickle ore from New Caledonia, Indonesia and Philippines, Palmer has seized the emergent opportunity to increase the success of his industry by solving a global economic problem, that being the reduction in freight shipping vessels and capacity due, once again, to the global economic downturn.
In the midst of these entrepreneurial maneuvers, Palmer sees an opportunity that many don't take seriously to provide a new level of luxury experience by reinventing the Titanic and reinvigorating ocean travel as seen during the a previous era when the wealth/poverty divide was as dramatic as that divide is becoming once again, also on a global scale.
The Titanic II project will provide work for downturn-affected industries, jobs before, during and after its construction and help to revitalize the luxury travel sector, while continuing the Titanic model of providing three classes of passenger tickets: third, second and first class. Palmer's latest entrepreneurial foray is into the political arena. The Financial Review of Australia quotes him as denouncing planned pay raises within government institutions as being "ludicrous" and "corrupt":
Queensland mining magnate and aspiring politician Clive Palmer has described the 42 per cent pay rise allocated to state MPs as “ludicrous”, while massive pay rises for ministers border on “corruption”. (Financial Review)