YANTAI: Longkou Port is accelerating its pace of expansion in its bid to become a modern port that will one day have an annual throughput of 100 million tons of goods.
The port's annual throughput is projected to surpass 50 million tons in 2010.
By 2020 throughput at the port is expected to break through the 100-million-ton threshold.
"The port will be built into a regional distribution center at Bohai Bay for coal and a trans-shipment center for petroleum, chemicals, grain and minerals," said Meng Xianggang, general manager of Longkou Port Co Ltd.
The authorities of Longkou Port in east China's Shandong province have continued construction of the port and are developing modern logistics and industries over the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10).
During the period, planned investment in port construction will reach 8 billion yuan, used for building and extending berths, waterways, piers, a road and railway network and industrial park facilities.
Its dock will take the bulk of the planned investment, up to 6 billion yuan, most of which will be used to build 12 new berths.
The port authorities plan to invest 1 billion yuan in expansion this year, with construction of six deepwater berths now underway.
Two of the berths will be multi-functional, each with a handling capacity of 20,000 tons of goods. Construction is scheduled for completion by the end of April.
Two general-purpose berths, each with a handling capacity of 50,000 tons of goods, will be operational in late September.
A liquid chemical berth with a handling capacity of 50,000 tons and a general-purpose berth located on adjacent Jimu Island with a handling capacity of 100,000 tons of goods will both be finished this year.
Longkou Port began operation 94 years ago on the south bank of Bohai Bay. It is one of two ports that will have an annual handling capacity of 100 million tons in Yantai.
The port now has more than 5,000 m of dock coastline, 22 production berths and 11 deepwater berths, each with a handling capacity of more than 10,000 tons of goods.
The capacity of the port was 26 million tons in 2007, an increase of 30.5 percent over 2006. The figure is projected to exceed 30 million tons this year, Meng said.
Longkou Port began a strategy to diversify its investors in 2003. It had since developed rapidly in cooperation with more than 20 domestic and foreign corporations.
The port has grown into one of China's 27 biggest over the past five years, with total assets rising from 760 million yuan to 3 billion yuan last year and annual throughput reaching 26.78 million tons from 6.2 million tons over the period.
A modern port is emerging with a complex organization for shipment of coal, liquefied chemicals, minerals, grain and containers.
The port lists shipment of coal, bauxite and other minerals, liquefied chemicals, grain and cement as its core business.
The port authorities have also established a logistics yard in Weifang, an inland city in Shandong province, in a bid to extend the logistics chain further from the port.
Streamlined procedures for port quarantine, customs declaration, warehousing, loading and unloading, and dispatch, have also enhanced its competitiveness.
A total of 5.6 billion yuan from more than 20 big investors from home and abroad has been pledged for port construction.
During the 11th Five-Year Plan, total liquefied storage at the dock will increase to 1.5 million cu m, with both the annual handling capacity and throughput of liquid chemicals projected to reach 10 million tons.
To this date, 11 joint ventures involved in various enterprises such as channel dredging, building and repairing ship engines, railway operation, as well as loading and unloading liquefied chemicals, minerals and coal, have been established in the port area.
To provide a modern logistics center and a facility for the industries relying on ocean shipping, Longkou Port has established the Haida Logistic Park.
One of the major four logistics parks the Yantai municipal government plans, the 200 million yuan Haida Park will cover 358,400 sq m.
A railway to the port completed in 2007 has created new opportunities for logistic development of the port.
Port authorities have joined with Singapore-based Kangji Group to invest a total of 350 million yuan to build a transshipment base along the train line as part of a sea and rail logistics system.