US$ 600 million for China infrastructure
By Helen Wright31 March 2014
The World Bank has approved loans totalling US$ 600 million to support upgrades to public transport services in two major cities in China’s northeastern Heilongjiang Province.
The funds will also be used to expand railway capacity along a key transport corridor in Heilongjiang, and increase gas usage in Shanxi Province.
Harbin and Mudanjiang in Heilongjiang Province are set to benefit from the Heilongjiang Cold Weather Smart Public Transport System Project, financed in part with a loan of US$ 200 million.
This project aims to improve pavement conditions, install bus stops, provide heated indoor bus waiting facilities, construct passenger hubs, terminals, bus depots, and facilities for maintenance.
Meanwhile, the HaJia Railway Project, also in Heilongjiang Province, will be boosted by a US$ 300 million loan. This will support a construction of a 343 km double-track, electrified, mixed-use (passenger and freight) railway line between the cities of Harbin and Jiamusi.
The project will include construction of twelve new stations and upgrading of the existing Jiamusi station.
Planned for completion in 2019, the World Bank said the new line would reduce the rail distance for passengers as well as freight between Harbin and Jiamusi by about 164 km – from the existing 507 km to 343 km – with passenger trains operating at 200 km per hour.
Finally, the Shanxi Gas Utilization Project will be supported by a US$ 100 million loan. The funds will back investments in both distributed gas-fired combined heat and power plants and the expansion of the gas distribution network in selected counties in Shanxi Province.
Mara Warwick, World Bank operations manager for China, said, “The three projects approved today will substantially contribute to increasing prosperity and improving development in China’s northeast and western lagging areas through efficiency improvement in transportation and expansion of clean energy.”