China Begins Construction Of Private Funded High-Speed Railway

BEIJING: China’s first public-private partnership (PPP) funded high-speed railway project with an investment of USD 6.46 billion has started construction in eastern province of Zhejiang, official media reported today.

The 269-km-long Hangzhou-Taizhou Intercity Passenger Line has a total investment of 44.9 billion yuan (USD 6.46 billion) with private capital contributing 51 per cent of the investment.

Private investors including Fosun Group, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and Wanfeng Auto Holding Group will have a 30 year franchise period, with four years for construction and 26 years for operation.

Local governments will offer subsidies to ensure the project’s smooth operation, and take ownership of the project after the franchise expires, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Giving holding status to private investors helps improve the project’s management and operation and encourages more private enterprises to invest in infrastructure development, said Xu Kunlin, head of the investment department of the National Development and Reform Commission.

Over 1,000 PPPs, with a total investment of about 1.8 trillion yuan, have been inked so far this year, with private firms playing the leading role, the report said.