(Yicai Global) Sept. 11 -- A consortium of private companies led by Shanghai-based investment conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. [HK:00656] has penned an agreement with the Zhejiang government on the development of the first privately-owned high-speed rail line in China, securing a 51-percent stake in the project.
Under the Hangzhou-Shaoxing-Taizhou railway investment contract signed today, investment in the scheme will total USD6.9 billion (CNY44.89 billion), and the public-private partnership will last 34 years, of which the first four are the construction period, and the remaining 30 are the operation period, China National Radio reported. Construction of the rail line is slated to start by the year’s end.
The 269-kilometer-long railway will start from Zhejiang’s capital of Hangzhou and end in Taizhou via Shaoxing with nine stops in all.
It will be built as an important part of the coastal passenger rail transport network to improve traffic conditions across Zhejiang province. The new line will cut the travel time from Hangzhou to Taizhou and other cities in central and eastern Zhejiang province to less than one hour.
As the country’s first private high-speed railway, the Hangzhou-Shaoxing-Taizhou rail line will set a good example for private businesses participating in market-based infrastructure and railway projects, said Li Hongchang, deputy head at China Transportation Economics Research Center.