China’s first private high-speed railway project signed in Hangzhou

For the first time, Chinese private companies have a bigger stake than the government in a 44.89 billion yuan ($6.89 billion) high-speed railway project in east China.

On Sept. 11, Shanghai Fosun High Technology signed an agreement with the government of Zhejiang in eastern China to invest in the railway, China National Radio reported. Chinese private companies, led by Fosun, will own 51 percent of the equity for the project.

It is the first time private companies in China have a controlling share in the railway infrastructure sector. The railway, a 269-kilometer link between Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang and Taizhou, is designed for an hourly speed of 350 kilometers.

The railway will be completed in four years and will operate for 30 years. It will adopt the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) scheme, under which the private companies bear the responsibility of income collection, railway construction, operation, and maintenance. After the operation period, the responsibility will be handed over to the Zhejiang Government or its designated organizations.

Li Hongchang, deputy director of the Chinese Transportation Economic Research Center, said the first private high-speed railway project will encourage Chinese private companies to participate in the country’s infrastructure construction and promote the marketization of Chinese railways.

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