Hutchison Whampoa

Hutchison to develop terminal in Huizhou

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 April, 2006, 12:00am

Hutchison Whampoa had reached an initial agreement with the government of Huizhou in Guangdong to jointly develop a deep-water container terminal as Shenzhen's Yantian port was approaching its maximum capacity, officials said.

The two sides would hold equal stakes in the project but Hutchison Whampoa would be given full authority to operate the port, Huizhou mayor Huang Yebin said yesterday.

The preliminary agreement for the project which awaits central government approval, was signed on March 31. The Huizhou government will formally submit the project proposal to Beijing soon.

Initially, the terminal would have two berths and could handle one million teu (20-foot equivalent unit) a year, said Mr Huang. It would be expanded in the future.

He said the port was essential for the development of the Pearl River Delta's logistics industry as Yantian port was near full capacity.

'The environment is now ripe. Huizhou has extensive superhighway networks and is close to both Hong Kong and Shenzhen. We have a natural deep-water harbour and no silt problem,' he said.

'Hutchison has invested a lot of time and resources into this project. We believe they will bring their rich experience and expertise of managing modern port facilities to Huizhou.'

The mayor refused to disclose the total investment amount.

The project was apparently backed by the Guangdong provincial government. Huang Shuming, an official from the Guangdong Development and Reform Commission, said the Huizhou port would not take away business from Shenzhen and Hong Kong ports.

'The container terminals in Guangdong are nearing full capacity. Hong Kong and Shenzhen should still have room for growth.'

He said the value of Guangdong's foreign trade would reach US$700 billion by 2020.