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New insurance scheme targets river pollution:

Jiangsu government launched a month-long promotional campaign on 1 June to increase awareness of a government-backed insurance scheme to cover the costs of river pollution and clean-up before it comes into full operation in July. It is now compulsory for vessels carrying oil and chemicals in the province to take out policies that cover against clean-up of pollution caused by collision or leakage. The scheme will eventually be extended to all types of vessel in the waters of Jiangsu, the busiest stretch of the Yangtze.
The policy, initiated by the Jiangsu Marine Safety Bureau, Jiangsu Environment Protection Bureau and two other government bodies and issued by four major Chinese insurance companies, will be opened to vessels below 1,000 dwt, which are not normally covered by insurance policies. Trials began last November and 1,200 vessels signed up within a month.
Government officials hope that the scheme will increase public awareness of responsibilities towards the river, bring in financial resources to clean up pollution and improve the emergency response mechanism.

Wuhan private terminals urged to open up:

Wuhan Port Authority has urged privately-owned terminals to be opened up to outside users. Fourteen out of the 16 planned terminal projects included in the blueprint of Wuhan New Harbour will be built by companies and the city’s port authorities hope that these private owners will open their terminals to common use so as to better utilise the shoreline.
Historically, major Chinese manufacturing companies were allowed to build terminals for their own use. However, Wuhan’s rapid industrialisation over the past decade means that the shoreline available for building common-user terminals has become scarcer.
According to Mr Chen Haihong, director of Wuhan Port Authority’s terminals division, the government is committed to helping companies obtain loans for terminal building projects, but urges that they are operated like common-user terminals. One company, for example, has built a terminal that can accommodate 5,000 dwt vessels, but its own fleet are all 3,000 dwt vessels.
“This is a waste of non-renewable resources such as our shorelines,” he was quoted as saying.
In Jingzhou, another major Yangtze port city in Hubei, the port authorities have ruled out the possibility of approving future privately-owned terminals on the principle that shorelines are non-renewable state assets that require special care.

Shanghai arbitration centre launched:

Shanghai International Maritime Arbitration Centre was set up on 25 May as part of on-going efforts to build Shanghai into an international shipping centre. The centre is located in north of the Bund area in Puxi district and will be manned by scholars, regulators, lawyers and retired maritime judges.

Increase in Yangtze foreign trade throughput:

The major Yangtze ports reported a total cargo throughput of 90m tons in May, the same level as last May, according to figures released by the Yangtze River Administration. For the first five months, throughput of general cargo totalled 411m tons, again no change year-on-year. Foreign trade-related throughput went up by 10.2 per cent to 56m tons during the first five months, largely driven by increased imports of iron ore in the lower reaches. Container throughput fell by 15.6 per cent to 2.31m teu in the same period.
Statistics from the Yangtze Maritime Safety Bureau showed a total of 15 major accidents in the river during the first five months of 2009, causing nine deaths, 10 sunken vessels and a direct financial loss of Rmb7.1m.
In a separate report, the Yangtze container index increased by 4.46 per cent to 942.90 in May, largely driven by greater import activity in the upper reaches. Manufacturing companies operating in the interior have been taking advantage of low raw material prices in the international market by importing aggressively from overseas. Container barges on the Shanghai-Chongqing route are operating at full capacity, although vessel numbers have been reduced by the withdrawal from service of several barges following the onset of the economic downturn; not all these barges have since resumed service. This development has driven up the container index by 10.6 per cent for the upper reaches to 982.35 while the middle reaches fell by 0.32 per cent to 896.36 and the lower reaches by 0.62 per cent to 921.71.
By contrast, the Yangtze dry index changed little in May, posting a slight increase of 0.26 per cent to 805.88. The shipping index for coal fell by 0.96 per cent to 649.61 due to depressed demand from across the Yangtze. The iron ore index increased by 2.1 per cent over the previous month to 850.42, reflecting heightened import activities in the low reaches. The shipping index for building materials continued to rise in May, by 1.68 per cent to 1,270.72, due to the on-going Sichuan earthquake relief efforts and numerous infrastructure projects in the interior region. The non-metal ore index fell 6.45 per cent to 896.68.

Property sales fall in Nanjing, rise in Wuhan:

The number of residential properties sold in Nanjing totalled 8,486 units in May, equivalent to 949,000 sq metres, according the Nanjing Real Estate Bureau. Both totals were about 10 per cent lower than the previous month. In April, 9,755 units were sold, totalling 1.03m sq metres.
Analysts believe that the recent price rises imposed by some major developers have backfired. But officials argued that the fact that nearly 280 properties are sold each day in Nanjing shows that there is still demand from ordinary residents.
The situation in the central Chinese city of Wuhan was more buoyant. Property transaction volume in the Hubei capital hit 8,107 units in May, 980 units more than in the previous month. Average daily property transaction volume was 261 units, according to a local real estate researcher quoted by China Knowledge. This represented a month-on-month increase of 13.75 per cent or a year-on-year increase of 77.75 per cent.

Nantong fines foreign vessel for inspection rules breach:

A Panama-registered vessel entered Nantong from South Korea on 28 May and was spot fined Rmb1,000 for not displaying three red lights at night while waiting for quarantine inspectors.
According to Chinese regulations on hygiene and quarantine, vessels must display appropriate signals to show that they are waiting for inspection so that passing vessels are warned to keep their distance and crew members know not to disembark before inspection is completed. Over the previous seven days, the vessel in question had visited an area reported to have detected the H1N1 virus, otherwise known as swine flu.
This is the third time Nantong authorities have fined vessels for such a violation.

Yichang-Wuhan Expressway renamed:

According to the transport authorities in Hubei province, the Yichang-Wuhan Expressway has been renamed Shanghai-Chongqing Expressway as of 1 June. This is part of a nationwide campaign to standardise names, signs and codes on the national network.
The 2,500km Shanghai-Chongqing Expressway, of which the Yichang-Wuhan section is a part, will be coded as G50 on the national network. The Shanghai-Chongqing Expressway, also known as the Riverside Expressway, will pass through Nanjing, Hefei, Wuhan, Yichang and Wanzhou before reaching Chongqing. While most of the line has already been built, the 560km section between Yichang and Wanzhou is a bottleneck with poor quality road conditions. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by end of 2010.

Wuhan branch for Schenker:

Logistics services provider Schenker China has obtained a business licence to establish a new branch in Wuhan, Hubei province.
Heavy industry is a pillar of the local economy, led by iron and steel. Other important sectors include high-technology, automobiles, electronics, optical equipment and textiles. The branch will focus on transportation and logistics services related to these key industries.

Sinopec builds Jiujiang hydrofining unit:

Sinopec has started building an 18,000 barrels-a-day hydrofining unit at its Jiujiang plant in Jiangxi province to improve petrol quality. The project, costing around Rmb167m, will be completed in January 2010, according to the company.
The facility will reduce sulphur content in petrol to 0.015 per cent from 0.05 per cent. This is in line with national measures to address China’s worsening pollution caused in part by the soaring number of vehicles. China plans to move to the third phase of emission standards nationwide — similar to Europe’s Euro III standards — starting in 2009 for petrol and 2010 for diesel.
Sinopec completed an expansion at Jiujiang in 2008, which increased its crude processing capacity by 30 per cent to 6.5m tonnes a year, or 130,000 barrels per day.

Sinochem facility in Taicang starts operation:

Sinochem’s new 50,000 tons polyether polyols facility in Taicang, Jiangsu province, started trial operation in late May. It was due to go into proper operation a week later.
The company has invested Rmb100m in the plant and most of the raw materials will be sourced from surrounding areas.
Polyether polyols are a key component used in the production of polyurethanes.

Auto sector boost for Magang:

Maanshan Iron & Steel, China’s second-largest steelmaker, has recorded significant growth in its auto steel plate sales in recent months, according to sources reported by China Knowledge. In May, the company received orders for 45,000 tons of auto steel plate products, twice the amount ordered in the latter months of 2008.
The company attributed the improvement to the relative buoyancy of the auto manufacturing industry along with successful R&D and sales activities. Its deliveries in May included 1,500 tons of outer steel plates to Anhui Jianghuai Automobile and Changan Automobile.

Jiangyin steel imports soar in Q1:

Jiangyin port imported 841,000 tonnes of steel in the first quarter of 2009, an increase of more than eight fold over the same period last year, according to the city’s Customs office. The volume of steel billet increased 318 per cent to 495,000 tonnes, while imported scrap rose from almost nothing to 170,000 tonnes.
Jiangyin is becoming an important steel billet distribution centre situated on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. Most of the demand for steel billet, according to Jiangyin Daily, comes from foreign trade companies based in Jiangsu, Shanghai, Zhejiang and Beijing.

Work begins on Chongqing bonded port zone:

Construction work begun on 2 June of the first phase of Chongqing Lianglu Cuntan Bonded Port Zone.
The 2.1 sq km first phase of China’s first inland bonded port zone will open in December, with all three phases due to be completed in 2015. The entire project will cover 8.4 sq km and is situated close near Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport and Cuntan Terminal. It will involve a total investment of some Rmb10bn.
Chinese goods entering the zone are treated as exports while foreign goods entering the zone are treated only as imports upon leaving the zone.

Chongqing expressway to open in October:

The Shuijiang-Wulong section of Chongqing-Hunan Expressway will open to traffic in October 2009, according to a Chongqing government website. As a result, the driving time between Wulong county and downtown Chongqing will be shortened from three hours to one-and-a-half hours.

Tongling plans to increase copper output:

Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group, China’s largest copper smelter, plans to raise production by 23 per cent in 2009 to 800,000 tonnes, according to analyst Yang Changhua at state-owned metals consultancy Antaike.
At the start of this year, a Tongling official told Dow Jones that the smelter planned to cut its 2009 output. The apparent change in policy indicates that Tongling believes relatively tight domestic copper cathode supplies will sustain prices, despite weak demand.
Tongling is a Yangtze port city in Anhui province, situated about 80km west of Wuhu.

Polynt opens new Changzhou production line:

The Italian chemicals company Polynt has opened a new production line at its facility in Changzhou, Jiangsu province.
Situated in Xinbei Industrial Park, the plant was built in 2004 and acquired by Polynt in 2007. It makes trimellitic anhydride, special plasticizers and special anhydrides. These chemicals are used for making electronic equipment, electrical cable coating, packaging and medical equipment.
Polynt Chemical (Changzhou) has 145 employees and a registered capital of US$56m. It has a production capacity of more than 70,000 tons a year.

Taizhou launches China’s first high-tech medical zone:

China’s first national level medical high-tech industrial development zone was established in Taizhou, Jiangsu province, on 29 May.
This zone will specialise in the manufacture of five product categories: vaccines, new agents of chemical compound medicines, biomedicine, Chinese medicine and high-end medical equipment.
So far, the zone has attracted more than 40 medical research and development institutes including Hamuna Research Institute, Texas Medical Center from the US and China Pharmaceutical University. More than 100 pharmaceutical production and service enterprises have set up in the zone.


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