Yangtze channel dredging to boost vessel traffic.
Ships navigating China's Yangtze river from Shanghai upstream to Jiangsu province are set to benefit following the completion of a Yuan15bn ($221m) dredging project that will deepen a 92 km channel.
Up to 33,0000 vessels are expected to use the channel this year, which links Shanghai with more than 100 inland ports in Jiangsu province.
A Yangtze Estuary Waterway Administration Bureau spokesman told Lloyd"s List that construction of the final phase was scheduled to finish in the middle of this month after work started in September 2008. The depth of the channel would be increased to 12.5m upon the completion of the project.
This will allow large containerships and bulk carriers to operate in the channel.
The project, which started in 1998, was carried out in three phases. Phases one and two, completed in 2005, deepened the depth of the channel from the original 7 m to 10 m.
The spokesman said the first two phases gave a significant boost to the economy along the river. Total cargo volumes soared to 699m tonnes in 2008 compared with 220m tonnes in 2000, while container throughput reached 5.5m teu in 2008.
As the depth of the channel increased to 10 m, the volume of boxes transported by a containership along the waterway increased by 922 teu per voyage, the spokesman said.