A Japanese consortium said Thursday it is resuming work in Shanghai on the world's tallest skyscraper after a five-year halt in construction blamed on the Asian financial crisis.
The 101-story Shanghai World Financial Center is to be 1,624 feet tall when finished in 2007, a group led by the Mori Building Co. of Tokyo announced.
That would make the tower some 130 feet taller than the current record holder - the 1,483-foot-tall Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
A consortium led by Mori broke ground for the Shanghai tower in 1997 in the city's new Pudong financial district. But work halted the next year, leaving a gaping foundation pit, after the Asian crisis caused demand for office space to plunge and disrupted financing for the project.
The Shanghai World Financial Center is a trophy for a city that aspires to be a business center rivaling New York and Tokyo.
Building is proceeding despite unease elsewhere that tall buildings could be a terrorist target following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the two World Trade Center towers in New York.
A spokesman for Mori said developers were focusing on both the building's structural strength and security measures.
``We will be 100 percent ready for safety, as well as issues of terrorism security,'' said spokesman Toru Nagamori. ``We have adopted the utmost caution for the entire structure of the building.''
The slender, wedge-shaped tower with a circular hole through its pinnacle was designed by the New York architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates.
Mori president Minoru Mori, speaking at a news conference in Shanghai, said builders had increased the tower's original projected height of 1,518 feet.
A consortium of Japanese banks, insurers and other companies led by Mori plans to invest about $850 million in the project, he said.
Mori noted that Universal Studios has signed a tentative deal to open a Shanghai theme park and that the city will host a World Expo in 2010, both of which he said could increase demand for office space.
Shanghai already is the site of China's tallest skyscraper, the 88-story Jinmao tower, and the tallest structure in Asia, the Oriental Pearl television tower.