Pinglu Canal: Construction Of China's First Man-made Waterways In 1400 Years Begins, $10 Billion Project Set To Boost BRI Maritime Connectivity

India Infrahub

May 31, 2023, 09:34 AM | Updated 09:49 AM IST

Pinglu Canal
Pinglu Canal
  • Upon completion, the canal will not only support the development of Guangxi region and spur trade with ASEAN nation
  • China has commenced the construction of a new canal linking Nanning, capital of Guangxi autonomous region, with the Beibu Gulf, Nikkei Asia reported.

    Estimated to cost $10.3 billion, 134 km Pinglu Canal extends from the Xijin Reservoir, near Guangxi's capital city of Nanning, to the port of Qinzhou in the south.

    Pinglu canal location/SCMP
    Pinglu canal location/SCMP

    The Pinglu Canal is the first man-made waterway in China after the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal was constructed more than one thousand years ago.

    The project involves construction of waterways, shipping hubs, water conservancy facilities and supports cross-river projects along the canal. The main channel size will be of 6.3 meters × 80 meters × 360 meters.

    Designed to accommodate a one-way annual capacity of 89 million tons, it will serve as the shortest access of the Xijiang River to the sea. The proposed waterway will be able to accommodate vessels of up to 5,000 tonnes.

     The Pinglu Canal will begin at the mouth of the Pingtang River in Hengzhou City, Nanning City, the main stream of the Xijiang River. It will cross the watershed between the Shaping River and the Jiuzhou River, a tributary of the Qin River, and goes south along the main stream of the Qin River to Qinzhou in the Beibu Gulf.

    An estimated 340 million cubic meters of dirt and rocks -- three times what was excavated to build China's Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest hydroelectric plant, will be cleared away as part of the project.

    The construction of the canal is expected to be completed by the end of 2026.

    Even though Guangxi has invested significantly in its port constructions in recent years, water transport in the inland region currently needs to go through the neighbouring Guangdong province to reach the sea.

    Bordering Vietnam, Guangxi is considered a key hub for cooperation with countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

    Upon completion, the canal is expected to provide a huge boost to trade with ASEAN.

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