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Infrastructure plays bigger role in fueling recovery

By ZHUANG QIANGE | China Daily | Updated: 2023-06-03 07:47

Participants look at an exhibition during the 14th International Infrastructure Investment and Construction Forum. ZHANG JINJIA/XINHUA

Amid China's intensified efforts to achieve its dual-carbon goals and high-quality development, infrastructure, supported by rapidly evolving technologies and their wider applications, should be given a bigger role to fuel the global economic recovery in the post-COVID-19 era, experts said at a forum on Thursday.

The comments were made during the 14th International Infrastructure Investment and Construction Forum in the Macao Special Administrative Region, which aims to showcase green development in the industry and discuss new approaches for sustainable development.

Themed "green leadership, digital intelligence, financial empowerment, win-win cooperation," the two-day event attracted more than 3,000 delegates from over 60 countries and regions, including more than 40 ministerial-level officials and senior executives of financial institutions.

Dai Hegen, chairman of the board of China National Chemical Engineering Group Co Ltd, said that advancing green and low-carbon economic and social development is key to achieving high-quality development.

"While infrastructure provides important support for economic and social development and meets people's needs for a better life, it also brings great pressure to the ecological environment," Dai said.

"With the global economy back on the growth track and technologies evolving rapidly, more opportunities will arise in the infrastructure sector, injecting impetus into global recovery," he added.

The forum also hosted a specialized exhibition focusing on regional connectivity, low carbon and digital intelligence.

As a pillar industry that has long been shoring up the nation's economy, infrastructure has been gathering pace since this year, evidenced by the progress reports from major State contractors.

A highway in Cixi, Zhejiang province, which is a supportive part of the Xincheng River district renovation project, reported big progress, as the installation of the hollow plate for a major bridge on the highway was completed last week, laying a solid foundation for the upcoming construction process, said China Railway 24th Bureau Group Corp Ltd (CR24), a unit of China Railway Construction Corp.

To ensure the smooth completion of the hollow plate installation, the project department, combined with the site conditions, organized professional and technical teams for simulation before conducting each specific construction procedure and made various emergency response plans during the construction process. At the same time, on-site operators were provided with operation technology and safety technology disclosures, CR24 said.

"The whole installation process has been smooth and successful thanks to the team members' efforts, who have been repeatedly inspecting equipment such as truck cranes and excavators to ensure that the entire installation process was safe and efficient. We are confident the highway will be delivered on schedule," the CR24 project manager said.

The supportive highway project includes building four roads and is listed in Cixi's five-year development plan to integrate the development of the Xincheng River district with that of other key blocks in the city, promote road traffic facilities and improve livelihoods in these areas.

The builder is also leveraging its edge in railway construction to support the upcoming 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province's provincial capital, in September.

CR24 said Xiaoshan West Railway Station, which was built in the 1930s in Hangzhou, has gotten back on track after the renovation work on the station's underground electric cable network — the power and telecom cables — was completed.

The station will be a key transportation hub not only supporting the upcoming 19th Asian Games in September but also helping the provincial capital play a stronger role in integrated regional development, CR24 said.

Mainly for passenger boarding and alighting, vehicle handling and cargo dispatching, the station, which has been in use for decades, has seen most of its signal and contact network equipment out of service, with the underground cable arrangement complex and "primitive", the project manager with CR24 said.

After the renovation, the railway station will have a larger operating capacity in terms of both passengers and trains as the new cable network will enable more rail lines to be connected to the station, making it a significant hub in the provincial capital, he said.

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