Subway projects to issue bonds
( 2003-11-15 11:21) (China Daily)
Beijing will take the lead nationally by issuing bonds to finance subway construction next year, with sources close to the municipal government calling it a "new attempt'' to raise more cash for the ambitious programme to upgrade the capital's infrastructure.
"The total investment in the two subway lines (No 4 and No 10) is estimated at around 30.1 billion yuan (US$3.6 billion), which would be far too heavy a burden for the municipal government,'' a source with the Beijing Mass Transit Railway (Group) Corp Ltd said on Friday.
Construction of the 28-kilometre No 4 subway line and the 33-kilometre No 10 subway line is due, marking a step forward in the city's desire to provide an decent transport system in time for the 2008 Olympic Games.
According to the official, the municipal government has already had to dig deep for the many planned large-scale infrastructure projects, which are aimed at giving the capital a facelift.
"If the municipal government continues to act as the sole sponsor of the construction of the two subway lines, many other projects might have to be further delayed. That is why Beijing can get a green light from the central government to issue the bonds,'' he said.
Liu Yongfu, director of the Beijing Municipal Construction Commission, did reveal on an earlier occasion that a lack of funding had already forced the city to postpone the construction of several major engineering projects until next year, including the Sixth Ring Road.
According to Wang Hao, vice-general manager of the Beijing Mass Transit Railway (Group) Corp Ltd, bonds worth of 2 billion yuan (US$240 million) will be issued to finance the two subway lines.
In addition, the projects have won loans of 17.2 billion yuan (US$2.1 billion) from banks including the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the China Development Bank.
The remainder of the required funds are expected to be raised from a public-private partnership (PPP).
Wang said the government will be responsible for the laying of tracks and the construction of tunnels and the stations, while non-State investors are welcome to provide, operate and maintain the trains and the signal facilities.
Both of the two (bonds and PPP) will help blaze a new trail in terms of the involvement of non-State capital in the construction and operation of urban railways in China, said Zhou Xiaoqin, an urban railway expert with the China International Engineering Consulting Corporation.
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