China ports to handle 25pc more cargo

Shanghai, November 2:

With China’s economy booming, its ports are projected to handle 25 percent more cargo traffic over the next five years, state media reported Wednesday, citing a senior transport official.

By the year 2010, cargo at Chinese ports will rise to more than 5 billion tons, up from last year’s 4.1 billion tons, Zhang Chunxian, minister of communications, told a shipping conference in Shanghai.

Container throughput, measured by TEUs, or twenty-foot equivalent units, is expected to more than double by 2010 to 130 million TEUs from last year’s 62 million TEUs, he said.

“China’s fast economic growth and its reinforced role as a global trading power will secure huge transport demand in the coming years,” the state-run newspaper Shanghai Daily cited Zhang as saying. China owns 210,000 ocean transport ships with the capacity for more than 86 million tons of cargo, the report said.

Trial operations at Shanghai’s a new deepwater port, at Yangshan, are due to begin in late November. Yangshan is expected to be able to handle 2.2 million TEUs when its US$1.8 billion first phase is completed, with an eventual annual capacity of 20 million TEUs by 2020.

Trial operations of the US$1.8 billion first phase of the port are due to begin in late November, state media reported. The second phase of the Yangshan port project has been awarded to en international consortium.

Shanghai International Port Group has a 40 percent share; Wharf Holdings Ltd., a unit of Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison Whampoa holds a 20 percent share; state-owned China Ocean Shipping Group (COSCO) has a 20 percent; Danish shipping giant A.P.

Moller-Maersk is taking a 10 per cent stake and a consortium headed by Hong Kong port operator Modern Terminals Ltd.taking the remaining 10 per cent.