Report: Domestic demand, BRI spur more opportunities for infrastructure developers

2023-07-14 08:16:02China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

An aerial view of a railway bridge under construction for the Hefei-Xinyi High-speed Railway in Hefei, Anhui province. The railway is being partly built by China Railway 24th Bureau Group Corp Ltd.

Major Chinese infrastructure builders and contractors are expected to embrace more opportunities this year amid the release of pent-up demand in the post-COVID-19 era — especially in regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative — and alongside continued strength in the sector domestically, a report said.

The report issued by CITIC Securities on Tuesday cited indexes related to demand for infrastructure in BRI-related markets as saying that conditions have recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, projects which were delayed by the contagion are also enjoying a faster development pace since the beginning of the year.

In addition, the number of new contracts is also on the rise, and is expected to increase at a faster pace for the rest of the year, which marks the BRI's 10th anniversary, the report said.

According to China State Construction Engineering Corp's first-half financial statement, contract value in overseas markets stood at 59.9 billion yuan ($8.36 billion), up 7.7 percent year-on-year. Total contract value surged 9.5 percent on a yearly basis to 2.01 trillion yuan during the reporting period.

With diplomatic advantages earned by China through its efforts in pushing global cooperation — such as the BRI — and the nation's competitive edge in infrastructure building, major Chinese contractors also stand out from their global peers for their professional solutions and mature operating models, according to a previous report by China Securities Co Ltd.

The annual global total of infrastructure investment is expected to surpass $3 trillion by 2025, it added.

"Major State-owned builders, multinational contractors and competitive private firms are likely to see more benefits this year brought by the BRI decennial. In addition, through years of optimization in overseas market layouts, Chinese players — supported by the government's 'go global' push — have become more professional in leveraging their infrastructure advantages, sharpened through various domestic projects, in markets overseas," said Bao Rongfu, a market analyst with TF Securities.

Moving into the second half, the nation's efforts in infrastructure are still in high gear, as a series of projects reported faster progress in July.

On the Jinhua-Jiande High-speed Railway in Zhejiang province, workers with China Railway 24th Bureau Group Corp Ltd (CR24), a unit of China Railway Construction Corp (CRCC), successfully bored a tunnel earlier this month — a major construction target in the HSR blueprint.

The two-lane Tangshawu Tunnel, located in Jiande, Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, stretches 202.9 meters through complex geological conditions.

To safely excavate through the rocky layers, construction crews of CR24 conducted geological surveys and used monitoring equipment to identify risks and determine the most appropriate construction methods, with reinforcement and strong support structures prepared in advance, the project manager said.

"We set up an expert team to carry out more delicate measurements on the construction site, as more specific and accurate figures will lead to faster installation of boring and support structures. It turned out to be the right move as we managed to bore the tunnel on schedule," said the CR24 project manager, who declined to be named.

According to the State-owned contractor, building work is stepping up along all sections of the line. Other than completion of the tunneling, the Xin'an River railway bridge also hit a major milestone recently with the load-bearing platform of another main pier of the bridge having been completed last week.

With a designed speed of 250 kilometers per hour, the high-speed railway is a locally built project linking Zhejiang's Jinhua, Lanxi and Jiande with China's major railway network, and it aims to provide faster rail service for passengers traveling between Zhejiang and inland provinces.

A major builder of the current national railway network, CRCC is ramping up efforts to help the nation achieve its high-speed railway expansion goals in accordance with the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25).

The Hefei-Xinyi High-speed Railway, a line aiming to better link inland Anhui province with the national railway network, reported major progress on a bridge-building project, according to CR24, which is involved in construction on several sections of the railway.

The builder said first-phase pouring work of a special railway bridge in Anhui's Dingyuan county was completed last week, which will give it valuable experience as the work was carried out above an operating highway.

Upon completion, the 324-km Hefei-Xinyi line will run from Hefei, capital of Anhui, and pass through the counties of Dingyuan, Fengyang, Mingguang, Wuhe and Sixian before entering Jiangsu province and terminating in Xinyi, Jiangsu, CR24 said.


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