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SHANGHAI, Sept 4 (Reuters) - China has released its first "white list" of 51 shipyards that it deems worthy of favourable policy support, as the world's largest shipbuilder strives to tackle over-capacity that has slammed the global shipping market.
The government said last year said shipbuilders that complied with its requirements in areas like ship emissions would be put on a white list for favourable policy support, such as export tax rebates and bank credit.
The list published on the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology's website on Wednesday included the Jiangsu shipyard of heavily indebted China Rongsheng, Singapore-listed Yangzijiang's New Yangzi shipyard and two of Sinopacific Shipbuilding yards.
Fifteen yards affiliated with state-owned China State Shipbuilding Corporation and China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, four related to China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co., two controlled by Sinotrans & CSC Holdings and one owned by China Shipping Group Co were also listed.
A ministry official said it intended to publish two more lists, though no timetable had been set.
China has more than 1,600 shipyards and analysts predict that about a third will shut as the industry struggles to emerge out of a capacity glut that has hit freight rates. Rongsheng, the largest private shipbuilder, came close to insolvency last year before it agreed with banks to extend its debt payments.
Banks have tightened lending to the industry even as it grapples with a fall in orders and high debt, amid a wider push from the government to rein in support for industries plagued with over-capacity.
China last year laid out a detailed three-year plan to restructure its massive shipbuilding industry, urging local governments to halt approvals of new projects and firms to build higher quality vessels.
China published guidelines to modernise its shipping industry on Wednesday. (Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Stephen Coates)