Rail and environmental loans for China

By Richard High26 June 2009

The World Bank has approved two loans to the People's Republic of China totalling US$ 500 million to support expansion of its rail network and water infrastructure.

The larger of the two loans, US$ 300 million, will to assist in the construction of the NanGuang Railway Project. The smaller loan, US $2 00 million, will be used to support the Shanghai Urban Environment Project (APL Phase III).

The NanGuang Railway Project aims to provide additional transport capacity and reduce transport time between China's less developed southwest region and the more developed Pearl River Delta region by connecting the existing railway networks in these two regions.

The loan will finance the construction of about 400 km of electrified double track railway from Litang West Station (about 95 km northeast of Nanning) to New Zhaoqing Station in Guangdong province; and partially finance 62 km of four-track railway being constructed between New Zhaoqing Station and Sanyanqiao Station (near Guangzhou).

The project is part of the China's economic stimulus program in response to the global economic crisis.

The Shanghai Urban Environment Project, the third phase of the Bank's Adaptable Program Loan (APL), which started in 2003, will focus on increasing the supply of "good quality water", reducing pollution discharged without treatment into these water sources, and facilitating sustainable investments in environmental infrastructure in suburban areas of Shanghai Municipality.

In the first two phases, the Bank supported several key infrastructure investments and institutional and policy reforms in the water, wastewater, and solid waste sectors.

The new US$ 200 million loan will finance the construction of infrastructure projects such as Nanhui Raw Water Conveyor and Puxi Trunk Sewer, further contributing to Shanghai's goal of building a resource-efficient and environmentally sustainable city and hosting a successful "World Expo 2010: Better City - Better Life".

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