Qinzhou Port Channel: Prepping for Increase
According to Travel China Guide, the area of Qinzhou is made up of over over 10,700 square km (4,100 square miles) and close to 3,500,000 people. It’s location makes it a key shipping hub and is the reason that a port project that started in 2009 with a $155 million dollar investment.
Qinzhou is located on the southern tip of eastern China, almost directly north west of the small island province of Hainan. We covered Hainan’s growth a few weeks ago, in this post.
As early as last year, Zhang Xiaoqin, secretary of the Municipal Party Committee of Qinzhou said the area, “is booming due to its free-trade port based on industrial cooperation”.
With a coastline of 86 kilometers, Qinzhou Port is one of the closest Chinese ports to ASEAN countries. Before the completion of the current project there was one sea channel with a handling capacity of 100,000 tons and 15 berths with capacity of 10,000 tons, among which 4 had a capacity of 100,000 tons.
New Channel to Bring More Containers
Fast forward to today, where the new channel is nearing completion. Earlier this week, Xinhua reported, the 300,000-tonne navigation channel at Qinzhou port, entailing a total investment of CNY995 million (US$155.9 million), has entered the final stage of construction.
The project started construction in September 2009 and is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year. The channel covers a distance of 38 kilometres with a width of 320 metres and a depth of 25 metres.
Estimates show that Qinzhou port’s capacity and throughput tonnage will both hit 100 million tonnes by 2013, while container throughput is to surpass one million TEU. As throughput and the size of the calling vessels increase, the port needed to upgrade its facilities to enhance competitiveness and ensure growth.
In addition, more routes will be opened to ports of ASEAN countries. Regular ships have so far been running between Qinzhou, Hong Kong, and Hai Phong, as well as Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Quanzhou and Tianjin. Sea links connecting Qinzhou with Singapore and Malaysia are expected to open soon.
Guangxi Qinzhou Free Trade Port Area is the sixth established in China and also the closest to ASEAN countries. Covering a planned total area of 10 square kilometers, it aims at businesses of international transfer, international procurement and distribution, import and export, transit trade, as well as export-oriented processing.
“Enjoying best preferential policies, it will become an international shipping center, a logistic hub and an export-oriented processing base geared toward China-ASEAN regional cooperation,” said Xiao Yingzi, mayor of Qingzhou.
Companies from ASEAN countries such as SembCorp Group, Eastern Resources and Keppel Group of Singapore, as well as some from Malaysia and Indonesia, have invested in Qinzhou with the hope to strengthen business ties with China through this platform.
According to the statistics provided by Qinzhou Customs, the trade volume between Qinzhou and ASEAN countries reached 260 million US dollars in the first eight months of 2010, with a year-to-year increase of 15.8 percent.