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Guangdong outlines ambitious projects as economy booms
Latest Updated by 2007-04-13 10:47:11
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A comprehensive list of construction projects should help Guangdong Province meet its demand for more energy, better roads and other infrastructure needs created by its booming economy.

The province will benefit from a combined investment of 115 billion yuan ($15.33 billion) in 159 key projects this year.

This year alone, 33 projects will become operational while 90 are currently under construction. And work should begin on another 36.

Zhong Yangsheng, vice-governor of the province, said that the projects cover everything from the transportation infrastructure to energy supply and from water irrigation to environmental protection.

Guangdong residents will also benefit from other projects covering sanitation and health, the rural infrastructure, the tertiary industry, scientific and technological innovations, modern heavy chemical industry and social security.

Zhang Hongming, the boss at a private-sector aquacultural processing company in Guangzhou's Panyu District, said the energy and power projects captured his attention.

"The short supply of power has bothered me a lot in the past few years, especially during the burning hot summer season," he said.

He recalled how the lack of power affected his company.

"From time to time, the power supply was cut, sometimes for a whole morning and sometimes for a whole day or even a couple of days in summer," he said.

"The power cut not only made my machines more likely to breakdown and raise my expenditure on electricity, but it also made it very difficult for my company to freeze raw materials and to fulfil the processing orders on schedule."

Liang Shaobo, a retiree in Guangzhou's Tianhe district, shared that view.

"Power supply was cut at least six times last summer," Liang recalled. "I dare not imagine how I spent those steaming hot days."

He also recalled how he had to linger inside a nearby air-conditioned supermarket to stay cool for much of the day. And at home, his refrigerator remained empty during the power failure.

In 2007, Guangdong will spend 25.1 billion yuan ($3.35 billion) on 26 energy and power supply projects.

Power plants are expected to go on line this year in Zhuhai, Shanwei and Jieyang and raise the capacity to 6,400 megawatts.

Plants expected to be completed this year are: the Huaneng Haimen power plant in Shantou, the Baolihua power plant in Meizhou, the Hengmen power plant in Zhongshan and the nuclear power plant in Yangjiang. The oceanic wind power plants Shantou and Zhanjiang will also be finished.

Official statistics revealed that Guangdong was 4,500 megawatts short of demand in 2006.

In a separate issue, fruit growers in the mountainous areas are closely watching plans to improve the rural transportation network.

Xie Mingshu in Yunfu's Yunan County is one of them.

"The new trunk road to Guangxi's Wuzhou will intersect our village," Xie said. "With the new road, I can look forward to selling my produce all year round."

In the past, Xie said, he had to travel about 10 km on a bicycle to sell his fruits in the town. And during the harvest season, a lot of his produce rotted before he could sell it.

"The condition of the roads plays a decisive role in the economic development of remote rural areas," said Liang Liwen, an official with the Raoping county government in the east of the province.

"Even though the areas have an abundance of tourists and agricultural resources, economic development has been limited because of the poor condition of the roads," the official said. "Tourists will not come, and neither will businesspeople.

Guangdong will spend up to 43.3 billion yuan ($5.77 billion) this year on transportation infrastructure projects. Underdeveloped regions in the rural and mountainous regions are the priority.

Official statistics indicate the province poured 111 billion yuan ($14.8 billion) into 162 projects in 2006.

Editor: Yan

By: Zhan Lisheng Source: China Daily Website
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