Construction has been halted on what is expected to be the world’s second tallest building due to an investigation into whether the contractor building the skyscraper used corrosive concrete.
According to Bloomberg, samples from the Ping An Finance Center are being tested to see if concrete containing sea sand rather than river sand was used during construction. Because sea sand contains salt and chloride, concrete containing it can corrode steel, putting any structure made with it at risk of collapse.
However, sea sand is much cheaper than the higher-quality river sand. In fact, sea sand costs half as much as river sand in China and supply shortages of the higher-quality sand compound the problem.
Despite the accusations, China State Construction Engineering, the company building Ping An, denies any wrongdoing. The company says all of its building materials meet quality standards.
But China State isn’t alone in the controversy. The Shenzen government found 31 companies violated industry rules on the use of concrete with sea sand and recently ordered eight of them to suspend business in the city for one year.
The Ping An skyscraper will be 2,165 feet tall when complete, making it the tallest building in China and the second tallest building in the world to the 2,722-foot-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai.