THE people of Guangdong will be the real victims if the construction of container Terminal 9 is delayed, says Director of Marine Tony Miller. He said that for the sake of all involved he hoped the matter would be resolved quickly.'' Terminal 9 became embroiled in the growing Sino-British dispute after China's representative on the Joint Liaison Group, Guo Fengmin, said Hongkong had signed contracts for the project without consultation, an allegation the Government has denied. The majority of the cargo passing through Hongkong port is produced in southern China. Last year, Hongkong's container throughput rose by over 29 per cent to nearly eight million 20 ft equivalent units (TEUs). Mr Miller said the demand for container terminals in Hongkong was due to cargo from southern China which was putting great pressure on mid-stream operations which grew by over 60 per cent last year. He pointed out that a delay in the construction of Terminal 9, illustrated above, on the south-eastern end of Tsing Yi island would create undesirable congestion in the stream as it would have to handle the excess container throughput. Mr Miller explained that the construction of container terminals in Hongkong was based on a five-year throughput forecast and the calculations showed that the first berths of Terminal 9 would be needed in mid-1995 when the berths of Terminal 8 reached capacity. The first berth of Terminal 8, which is now under construction, will come on stream in August while Terminal 10 would be needed at the beginning of 1997. Port Development Board secretary Tony Clark said the opening of Terminal 9 would be delayed if work did not begin by the middle of this year. He hoped the technical briefings would be completed by March and work on the project could start soon.