The World Bank has approved a loan of 150 million U.S. dollars to improve inland waterway transport in central China's Hubei Province, said the World Bank Beijing office Saturday.
With the Hubei Inland Waterway Improvement Project, the loan targets to upgrade the capacity and reliability of the inland waterway transport along the Hanjiang River in Hubei, said the World Bank.
The project is expected to increase the connectivity between the less developed central and western regions and the more prosperous eastern provinces in China.
The total investment of this project is 515.13 million U.S. dollars, including 150 million dollars of the World Bank loan and 365.13 million from the Hubei provincial government.
It will upgrade about 53 kilometers of waterway between the Yakou and the Cuijiaying Complex. The Yakou hydropower station will supply renewable energy to the nearby Yicheng city.
The project will also provide gravity flow irrigation to more than 5,300 hectares of existing farmland.
About 5.61 million residents along the Hanjiang River are expected to benefit from the economic development and ecological improvement brought about by the greener transport mode, said the World Bank.
It is also expected to yield local and global environmental benefits by promoting a green mode of transport and producing renewable energy.
Starting with the First Inland Waterways Project in 1995, the World Bank has supported eight inland waterway projects in China, including the Hanjiang River project.