The Government of the People's Republic of China has requested a loan of $200.0 million from ADB's ordinary capital resources to help finance the Anhui Intermodal Sustainable Transport Project.
The project will (i) upgrade sections of provincial and national highways in Anhui Province and improve the safety features on these roads; (ii) develop new highway sections designed to support public and nonmotorized transport; (iii) improve the capacity of the province's inland waterway network, (iv) construct an intermodal inland river port on the upgraded inland water channel, and (v) strenghten institutional capacity for road and inland water transport.
The executing agency will be the Anhui provincial government, acting through the Anhui Provincial Department of Transport (APDOT). The existing foreign funds project management office of the APDOT will serve as the provincial management office, oversee overall project implementation, and represent the APDOT. Each city and county will have a local project management office responsible for the day-to-day implementation of individual project road components. The county governments of Dongzhi, Hanshan, Hexian, Nanling, and Wuwei will be the implementing agencies for teh road sector inputs. Anhui Provincial Port and Shipping Construction Investment Group will be the implementing agency for the inland waterway transport.
The project will be implemented over 5 years.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Development in the central PRC province of Anhui has lagged behind that in neighboring eastern and coastal provinces. About 56% of the province's 59.7 million people lived in rural areas in 2011, but population density, at 430 inhabitants per square kilometer, is much higher than the national average (138) and land availability is limited. Despite economic growth, the province's gross domestic product per capita remains much lower than those of adjacent provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang. Anhui has had some success in its efforts to capitalize on the advantages of its physical proximity to these more affluent provinces owing to its large, skilled, and less costly labor force. It is gradually attracting new investments and maintained double-digit annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth during 2011-2012. Production has grown faster than the national average, and Anhui's consumption per capita reached 77% of the national average in 2011, up from 70% in 2005.
To harness Anhui's geographical advantage and cost competitiveness and promote new investment in manufacturing and services, the PRC state council approved a plan in January 2010 to create the Wanjiang Demonstration Zone (WDZ). The plan aims to attract equipment manufacturing, textile, information technology, and agricultural industries to the urbanized areas along the Wanjiang River, which is the name given to the stretch of the Yangtze River that flows through Anhui. The WDZ covers two counties and nine cities, including Hefei and Wuhu, and is expected to facilitate the expansion of existing Anhui-based companies as well as encourage companies to relocate from elsewhere in the Yangtze River Delta, including Anhui's neighboring provinces.
Anhui's inadequate transport network is currently a major obstacle to rapid industrial and economic development and, as a result, to poverty reduction. The capacity and quality of the province's roads need significant improvement to meet growing requirements and to link Anhui to the Yangtze River corridor. Most roads have only two lanes and should be upgraded to four or six. Of the 149,535 km of road at the end of 2011, expressways and high-standard class I and II highways comprised only 9.5% (14,276 km), which is lower than the national average of 11.5%. The percentage of paved roads in Anhui is lower than in the six surrounding provinces (44.2%), which is an indicator of the general quality of the road infrastructure.
Any expansion of the province's road network must be accompanied by carefully designed measures to enhance the level of road safety and prevent traffic accidents. Particularly important is the need for road designs to cater to the safety of NMT through segregated pedestrian and cycling lanes. An estimated 210,000 crashes led to 62,000 traffic fatalities in the PRC in 2011, making road safety a national concern. Accidents, injuries, and deaths have risen rapidly along with the expansion of the road network and the growth in the number of motor vehicles. During 2000 2005, more than 600,000 people were killed and around 3 million injured in crashes equivalent to a fatality every 5 minutes. These accidents are estimated to have affected the lives of more than 20 million people in the country, either directly or as family members of the victims involved. The most vulnerable road users pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists account for the majority of deaths.
Like the PRC in general, Anhui has great potential for the development of inland waterway transport (IWT), which is clean, safe, and the most energy-efficient of all the major modes of transport. The PRC has more than 5,600 navigable rivers and an inland waterway system of 119,000 km in total navigable length. IWT can provide a cost-effective alternative to road transport for moving freight, and thereby help alleviate the traffic congestion on the country's highways, reduce energy consumption, and avoid rapidly growing emissions that are exacerbating local air pollution and contributing to global climate change. Despite recent fast growth, IWT's potential is still greatly underused. Its share in total transport in the PRC, measured in ton-kilometers, was only 4% in 2008.
Most of the PRC's navigable waterway network is located within the courses of the Heilongjiang, Huaihe, Yangtze, and Zhujiang rivers. The Yangtze River and its tributaries alone account for one-half the national total, or 58,000 km. The Yangtze runs through Anhui and provides a high-class deep river channel for IWT. Its network of small associated river and tributary channels also offer potential for IWT, but past underinvestment in navigation has left many of them navigable only by small vessels during the wet season. Investments to upgrade the river channels to enable year-round IWT by larger vessels at lower unit operating costs can play an important role in achieving the WDZ's aim of attracting industries from coastal and neighboring provinces to cities along the Yangtze in Anhui.
The scope of the project's inland waterway component and the need for it to include an intermodal port at Xuancheng to serve the industrial park emerged from policy dialogue between ADB and the government during project preparation. The project preparation also included a study on climate change resilience, which helped in identifying the need for project flood protection works and developing preliminary designs of embankments on the Shuiyang River. Assessments of the project roads led to recognition of the road safety issues that are to be addressed through the project's design features, which will include segregated lanes for pedestrians and cyclists.
This will be the second ADB project to support IWT in the PRC and follows approval in 2012 of the Hunan Xiangjiang Inland Waterway Transport Project, now in the early stages of implementation. The project design incorporates lessons from recent road projects in the PRC, one of which was the need to include capacity building support for implementation units, particularly in procurement and safeguards. During project preparation, ADB provided guidance to the executing agency and the implementing agencies on ADB's safeguards and procurement procedures. Further capacity building on resettlement is planned for the project implementing agencies.