Ample funds power infrastructure projects across China

By ZHUANG QIANGE| China Daily| Updated :2023-12-08

Chinese provinces are propelling a fresh wave of infrastructure construction as well as accelerating the pace of existing projects, powered by sustained fund inflow through government bonds and bank loans, signaling a surge in vital facilities by year-end, experts said.

With a 500 billion yuan fund ($69.9 billion) infusion from newly added government bonds in particular, the nation anticipates robust investment in infrastructure and expects a potential uptick in investment growth, they added.

In the Suxi township of Yiwu, Zhejiang province, construction of the landmark Yiwu (Suxi) International Hub Port is on a steady track toward completion.

The 213.3-hectare hub that will be linked by the Ningbo-Jinhua Railway — itself also under construction — will serve as a key national-level trade terminal upon completion.

The hub is currently in the process of adding bridges and facilities, and boring tunnels.

The hub port will be supported by facilities such as those providing trade and Customs services, warehouses, storage yards, container inspection stations and rail routes facilitating land-sea freight transfer, said China Railway 24th Bureau Group Corp, a State contractor building a major container processing station at the hub port, which is scheduled to basically finish by the end of next year.

Zhejiang is eyeing a world trade hub for its Suxi project, making it a hub that is able to stand out among its peers globally with the support of connecting major ports, land and coastal, in the province, Wang Hao, governor of Zhejiang, said during an inspection tour to the hub port.

"Major projects, with their substantial investment volumes and high relevance, exert a noticeable driving force on investments. This year, large project investments have contributed significantly to overall investments, and will further be a major driver for the sector's growth," said Long Chaocan, an investment consultant with China Galaxy Securities Co Ltd.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, investment in projects totaling billions of yuan increased by 9.9 percent year-on-year in the first 10 months, surpassing the growth rate of total fixed asset investments by 7 percentage points. Its contribution rate to the growth of total fixed asset investments increased by 3.8 percentage points compared to the previous three quarters.

Such major projects not only act as a cornerstone for stabilizing investments but also serve as pillars for driving industrial upgrades, Long added.

In Taizhou, Zhejiang, construction of the Wenling-Yuhuan High-speed Railway achieved a milestone as the major Wenling West Station Railway Bridge project saw casting of a turnout of a continuous beam successfully completed by CR24, a China Railway Construction Corp unit.

As construction of bridges and tunnels accounts for 84.8 percent of the total HSR workload, the casting will provide valuable experience for the follow-up construction, the State builder said.

With a total investment of some 7.6 billion yuan, the railway is Taizhou's first local railway project that links its last batch of counties with the HSR network, with a newly planned length of 37.8 kilometers.

According to data from the Ministry of Finance, in the first 10 months, various regions issued some 3.52 trillion yuan in special bonds for project construction within the newly approved debt limit, with projects covering municipal construction and transportation infrastructure among other key areas.

Efforts are also being made toward "new infrastructure", as some local governments are ramping up photovoltaic projects to improve local power supply, and help spur a green transition nationwide.

In Yangnaotou — a village in Binzhou, Shandong province — local farmers have established a photovoltaic panel array in their fish ponds. With the help of the State Grid Binzhou Power Supply Co, this innovative photovoltaic power station generates approximately 1.53 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year.

This not only saves around 61.3 metric tons of standard coal annually but also increases the collective income of the village by about 61,000 yuan a year.

To ensure efficient and orderly grid connection and power generation of photovoltaic projects, the Binzhou unit optimized the grid connection process for photovoltaic power generation projects and provided high-quality services in project design, operation, and grid connection, to accelerate the overall completion progress.