AP China to invest $22B on railways in north province Sunday December 7, 11:28 am ET China to invest $22 billion on railways in coal-rich northern province by 2015
BEIJING (AP) -- China plans to invest $22 billion to build more railways in the coal-rich northern province of Shanxi as part of a bid to ease chronic congestion and promote domestic growth in the face of the global economic slowdown, state media reported Sunday. ADVERTISEMENT
China is in a railway-building boom, adding hundreds of miles (kilometers) of track each year in an expansion that rivals the construction of railroads in the 19th century American West. Ramping up construction can help create jobs at a time when the country's economic boom appears to be stalling, with growth expected to slow this year to about 9 percent, down from last year's 11.9 percent.
Expanding the rail system will also help alleviate severe bottlenecks, especially for transport of the coal that is used to generate three-quarters of China's electricity supply.
Shanxi, which accounts for a third of China's coal output, will get 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) of new track by 2015, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday.
Construction of at least three new railway lines will start in the first half of next year, Xinhua said, citing provincial officials and the Ministry of Railways.
The building of a railway in the central-southern part of Shanxi will enable the province to ship coal directly to coastal ports in eastern Shandong province, Xinhua said.
Calls to provincial officials and the Ministry of Railways information office rang unanswered Sunday.