Nan Yue says work to start on 11 expressways

As part of Beijing's 4 trillion yuan (HK$4.54 trillion) stimulus to fight the global economic crisis, the Guangdong provincial government this year will start building at least 11 expressways, which are estimated to cost a total of between 50 billion yuan and 100 billion yuan.

The construction of the expressways, with a total length of 1,080km, would begin this year, Su Yongdong, the vice-chairman of Guangdong Nan Yue Logistics, said.

'Expressway construction in Guangdong will speed up because of the stimulus package,' Mr Su said.

Each kilometre of expressway cost between 50 million yuan and 100 million yuan to build, and each expressway normally took two to three years to complete, Nan Yue chairman Lu Maohao said. 'The quality and speed of construction is higher than before due to the government stimulus.'

Hence, 1,080km of expressway would cost between 50 billion and 100 billion yuan.

Before the stimulus measures, Guangdong's government had a target of increasing the length of expressways in the province from 3,500km currently to 5,000km by 2015, but with the stimulus, that target had been brought forward to 2011, Nan Yue executive director Wang Weibing said.

Mr Lu expressed confidence that Hong Kong-listed Nan Yue would win the business to supply concrete and other construction material to the 11 expressway projects.

He said this was so because it was almost certain Nan Yue's parent, Guangdong Provincial Communication Group, would win those expressway projects as it was a state-owned firm engaged in expressways.

Supplying steel, concrete and other construction material to construction projects in Guangdong accounted for 82.5 per cent of Nan Yue's revenue last year.

The firm's net profit fell 6 per cent to 150.1 million yuan last year, while turnover rose 11 per cent to 7.68 billion yuan.

Its shares rose 5.05 per cent to HK$2.08 yesterday.