Qingdao attracts foreign finance for expansion
FOREIGN funds are being invested in the expansion of Qingdao port in Shandong province, according to official reports.
The port is the fourth largest in the country, and the extension is aimed at increasing its annual cargo handling capacity to 100 million tonnes, said a Xinhua (the New China News Agency) report.
Situated in Jiaozhou Bay on Shandong Peninsula, Qingdao is a deep-water harbour whose handling capacity could not cope with the rapid increase in cargo traffic.
To boost capacity, authorities decided to accept Japanese government loans of US$184 million to undertake an expansion project in Qianwan Harbour.
The first phase of the project, started six years ago, was to begin building six deep-water berths.
The construction of four berths has been completed and the other two are due to be finished by the end of this year.
The berths will add 17 million tonnes of handling capacity to Qingdao.
The second phase of the project will start in January, involving construction of another six deep-water berths and two container harbours.
The total investment in the second phase amounts to $175 million, again from the Japanese loans.
Qingdao port also is co-operating with Iscor Co, of South Africa, which will provide $10 million to reconstruct the ore harbour at Qianwan.
The annual handling capacity of Qingdao port has reached 68 million tonnes and it has three container harbours and special harbours for coal, oil and ore.
Meanwhile, a large state capital construction project at Nantong in Jiangsu province has gone into operation.
Nantong is one of China's 14 open coastal cities at the estuary of the Yangtze River.
This construction phase, consisting of three berths able to accommodate ships of 10,000 deadweight tonnes, has been approved by the Ministry of Communications.
Costing 250 million yuan (about HK$335 million at official rates), the Langshan section of the port includes a general cargo wharf with a handling capacity of 25,000 tonnes and two multi-purpose docks each with a handling capacity of 13,000 tonnes.
Upon completion, the annual handling capacity of Nantong port will increase by 8.4 million tonnes.
At present, the port handles 12 million tonnes of cargo a year.
In another project, Xiamen in Fujian province, is boosting its port quarantine system in line with efforts to opening to the outside world.
As early as 1873, Xiamen and Shanghai took the lead in carrying out port quarantine in order to prevent the spread of cholera in the country.
In the 1950s the city declared itself free of the deadly infectious diseases of the plague, cholera and smallpox.
Since the State Council instructed Xiamen to experiment with a package of free-port policies as a special economic zone in 1980, the city's port quarantine measures have expanded to cover infectious disease examination, and sanitation inspection of containers and imported foods.
Advanced medical equipment is in use, and the city has quarantined 1.05 million passengers in port since navigation opened between Xiamen and Hong Kong in 1979.
In addition, 1.48 million people have undergone quarantine inspection at the city's Gaoqi International Airport since 1985.
About 82,000 containers had been quarantined in Xiamen over the past five years.
In 1990, the city set up an imported-food sanitation inspection centre, which has retrieved foreign trading losses totalling three million yuan.