BEIJING -- The building of a multi-billion-dollar high-speed railway linking Beijing and Shanghai could be underway as soon as the middle of January after six companies were confirmed as winners of the construction bids.
Sources with the contractors said construction of the rail line would commence before Spring Festival, which falls on February 7, with mid-January the earliest possible time.
Civil engineering work on the 1,318-kilometer railway is expected to cost 83.7 billion yuan and is divided into six sub-contracts.
China Railway Construction Corporation which built the Qinghai-Tibetan Railway, Shanghai Maglev train, Beijing-Kowloon Railway and the western railway across Hong Kong, took the lion's share of 40.3 percent, or 33.74 billion yuan (US$4.64 billion), through its two subsidiaries, the No. 12 and No. 17 Bureaus.
China Railway Group Limited secured the second largest share worth 21.965 billion yuan( US$3.02 billion), about 26.2 percent, through its No.1 and No. 3 Bureaus.
The other two smaller contractors are Sinohydro Corporation and the China Communications Construction Company, each responsible for more than 16 percent of the project, worth around 14 billion yuan (US$1.97 billion).
The railway ministry's chief engineer He Huawu told the Dongfang Daily in late December that China aimed to use the project to develop an advanced express railway technology system, with 70 percent of the technology developed domestically.
"The principle is to introduce up-to-date foreign technologies, tap into them by carrying out joint design and manufacturing and cultivating a local brand name," he said.