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Low water level problem eases on upper Yangtze:

The record low water levels on the upper reaches of the Yangtze have finally come to an end, according to the Yangtze Waterway Bureau. During the second half of March, the water level in Luzhou, Sichuan province, stood at 0.1 metres below sea level, the lowest since records began. From 4 April, the water level in Luzhou started to rise, to 0.85 metres on 9 April.
The extremely low water level has severely hampered normal shipping activities, allowing the passing of only eight vessels a day, carrying just 2,300 tons. Since then, shipping activities have returned to normal with the passing of 50 vessels a day carrying 30,000 tons of cargo.
In another development, the Three Gorges Dam finished replenishing water for the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze on 13 April, releasing a total of 5.1bn cubic metres of water. Between November and April, the Yangtze experiences its dry season. One of the purposes of the Three Gorges Dam is to regulate water levels to facilitate year-round shipping. According to officials from the Three Gorges Dam, the hydropower project was not affected during this water releasing cycle.

SIPG aims for 29m teu this year:

Shanghai International Port Group announced on 10 April that it aims to handle 29m teu this year, a growth of 3.6 per cent over last year. The company handled 28m teu in 2008, an increase of 7 per cent, and its profits were up nearly 27 per cent to Rmb4.6bn.
The company also said that it plans to double its transhipment ratio from the current five per cent.
It is also suspending talks with APMoller Maersk for a 40 per cent stake in Zeebrugge port in Belgium that Maersk has built, due to the worldwide economic downturn.

Guizhou’s waterway upgrade plan wins approval:

Experts have approved Guizhou’s plan to upgrade Wujiang River to link up with the Yangtze to the north. The four-year project involves 407km of waterway between the Wujiang River Ferry and Gongtan. Eight terminals will be built, comprising 16 berths for 500dwt vessels and 36 quays. It will compliment the Guiyang-Zunyi Expressway and the Guizhou-Chongqing Railway that have already been built. Construction is expected to start sometime next year.
In another development, the State Development and Reform Commission has approved a proposal to build the 345km Guizhou-Chongqing New Rail Line, which will cost approximately Rmb45bn. The line will go through mountainous terrain and involve numerous tunnels and bridges, making it a highly challenging project. It is one of 15 key rail projects on the priority agenda of the Ministry of Railway, and construction is scheduled to start in the third quarter of this year. Upon completion in 2013, the new line will help ease capacity pressure on the existing Guizhou-Chongqing line.

Problems mount for Go West campaign:

A conference initiated by the State Reform and Development Commission in late March concluded that the current worldwide economic crisis is creating significant problems for the Go West campaign. In Sichuan alone, 1.5m migrant workers who have returned from shut-down factories along the coast are currently unemployed. During the first two months of the year, exports declined by 55 per cent, industrial value-added by 5.7 per cent and local revenues by 35.7 per cent in the western region.
Experts said that infrastructure investment needs to be speeded up and that efforts should focus on developing the unique industries in the interior and further accelerate the pace of industrialisation to increase the purchasing power of ordinary people.

Rural Gansu spends Rmb2bn on post-quake road reconstruction:

According to the Transport Commission of Gansu province, the central government has spent Rmb1.8bn in the eight ‘severely-affected’ counties and 36 ‘affected’ counties over the past year and will spend an additional Rmb200m by the time of the first year anniversary in May. The money is being spent on rebuilding roads and bridges; the number of bridges alone exceeds 130. The transport commission vowed that all the rebuilding projects would be completed by the end of November 2010.
The earthquake last May was recorded at 8.3 on the Richter scale and wiped out a number of rural communities in Sichuan and Gansu provinces. So far, similar figures have not been made available by Sichuan provincial government.
Relief efforts have considerably increased the throughput volumes of cement and other building material such as steel along the Yangtze. In March, for the first time, the amount of cargo going upstream to Sichuan was larger than that of cargo coming downstream to the coastal region.

Chongqing and Shenzhen Airlines to explore air cargo hub:

Chongqing Mayor Wang Hongju and Executive Deputy Mayor Huang Qifan met with senior adviser of Shenzhen Airlines Mr Li Zeyuan in April and discussed their mutual interest in developing Chongqing as the air cargo hub in China’s interior. Following computer manufacturer HP’s plan to build a 4m notebook production line in Chongqing last year, Chongqing is expecting a substantial increase in air cargo volumes. Shenzhen Airline, the largest privately-owned airline and the fifth largest in China, has a controlling stake in Changzhou airport and manages Wuxi airport along the Yangtze corridor. It has been active in searching for new targets, having recently signed a framework agreement with Jiangxi to develop Nanchang airport.
In another development, Chongqing Municipal Economic Commission director Mr Wu Bing announced that the city is well on the way to recovery. Among the major signs, he said that orders in the machinery sector have increased to full load and the shipbuilding sector had secured orders worth more than Rmb8bn. The consumption of electricity has started to rise, with the first three months up 1.12 per cent on the previous quarter to nearly 9.3bn megawatts.

Wuhan’s free bike trial declared successful:

Wuhan government’s trial free bicycle scheme that started last October has been deemed a success, with none of the 1,000 bicycles involved being stolen. Local residents can apply for special credit cards to rent the bicycles free at one point and return them at another. The companies that provide the bicycles use the outlets and the bicycles themselves as vehicles for commercial advertisements, thereby getting a return on investment.
As a sign of adopting a greener transport policy, the local government plans to extend coverage of the scheme in the city this year to some 20,000 bicycles.

Whirlpool to close Shanghai plant:

The US-based home appliances giant Whirlpool will close its washing machine plant in Shanghai, reported China Sourcing News, cutting 600 jobs.
Whirlpool’s washing machine output will be moved to the Hisense-Whirlpool joint venture plant in Zhejiang province. This 50-50 joint venture was created in April 2008, and is mainly engaged in the development and production of washing machines and refrigerators.

Chery signs nitrogen deal with Praxair:

Praxair China has signed a contract to supply liquid nitrogen to Chery Automobile, one of the largest exporters of Chinese cars. Chery will use the liquid nitrogen during the heat treatment process of the manufacture of automobile parts at its plant in Wuhu, Anhui province.
Prior to this contract, Praxair China supplied industrial gases to Wuhu Bonaire Automotive Electrical Systems, an affiliate of Chery, and to Tower Automotive (Wuhu), a joint venture between Tower and Chery in China.
Praxair is one of the world’s largest industry gas suppliers. In China, it has 17 wholly owned companies, 10 joint ventures and more than 1,200 employees.

Wartsila sets up Shanghai supply chain centre:

Logistics services provider Longwin is joining forces with Finnish forwarding agent Wikestrom & Krogius to establish a supply chain centre for the marine and energy solutions company Wartsila in Shanghai.
The two companies have won a five-year contract to provide logistical and operational services to Wartsila, including the management, transportation and distribution of some 70,000 tonnes of power-related cargo a year from the Shanghai hub to destinations in Europe.
Logwin has assisted Wartsila in building a 3,100 sq metre facility that will provide comprehensive logistics services. The new centre will enable Wartsila to consolidate goods from multiple suppliers in China, including quality control and inspection of goods on their arrival at the centre to the repackaging of the cargo into full container loads for shipment to Finland, Italy and other European destinations.

Yangtze night sailing resumes in landslide section:

The night navigation ban at a section of the Yangtze River that has been threatened by a massive landslide was revoked on 8 April by the Yangtze River Administration of Navigational Affairs.
The decision was made because the landslide at the river section in Yunyang county, Chongqing municipality, was no longer deemed dangerous due to a lack of heavy rainfall. However, the decision could be reversed in the event of heavy rainfall.
Waterway transportation had been suspended at night in the region since 5 April, as soil erosion had worsened since March.
A portion of the river's southern bank in Yunyang broke loose from the rest of the bank in November 2008, when the cofferdams of the Three Gorges Dam tried to hold water at a depth of 175 meters.

Wuhan rail marshalling station to open:

Wuhan North railway marshalling station, the largest in Asia according to local media, will be completed in mid-April.
With a total investment of Rmb2.4bn and an area of 4.67 sq km, the station has 112 marshalling railway lines for freight. It is located at the junction of Beijing-Guangzhou line and the Shanghai-Wuhan-Chengdu expressway, and is expected to play a significant role in the development of Wuhan as a national railway hub.


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