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World's 2nd-largest Ferris wheel to be built in Seoul

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SEOUL, March 8 (Yonhap) -- The world's second-largest Ferris wheel will be built along the Han River in Seoul's western district, the city government said Wednesday.

Seoul Ring, with a diameter of 180 meters and a completely hollow center, will be located at an eco-themed park in Sangam-dong, offering bird's-eye views of the capital city, according to the Seoul metropolitan government.

It will be the second-largest wheel after Ain Dubai, the world's tallest and largest observation wheel, and will be the largest Ferris wheel without spokes. Currently, there is only one spokeless wheel called Bohai Eye in China.

The futuristic structure will have 36 cabins, each of which is able to carry 25 passengers, officials said.

The attraction will accommodate 1,747 people per hour and up to 11,792 people every day, the city government said.

"Between 15 and 20 percent of tourists to Britain and Singapore use the London Eye and Flyer Ferris wheels, respectively," Hong Sun-ki, a city government official, told a press conference, adding Seoul Ring is expected to bring more than an average of 3.5 million tourists every year.

The 400 billion-won (US$304 million) project will be proposed under the build-transfer-operate (BTO) scheme, the government said. It is set to break ground in June 2025, with the goal of completion by December 2027, officials said.

The lower part of the landmark will feature an exhibition hall about the park, which was previously Seoul's waste landfill.

The city government aims to promote Seoul Ring, which will run 100 percent on renewable energy, as a landmark that symbolizes its eco-friendly policy.

The spokeless wheel does not actually turn, but instead each cabin or a pod affixed to a gear circulates the circumference of the wheel.



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