The project consists of the construction of the Bazizui navigation hub on the Xinjiang river, one of the five major river systems in the Jiangxi province in China. The proposed project is part of a larger and more comprehensive waterborne transport infrastructure programme, involving other internal waterways projects on the Xinjiang and Ganjiang rivers. After project completion, the cargo expected to be transported in the waterway will be mainly solid bulk and general cargo.
The project will increase the capacity and efficiency of the waterborne transport system in the Jiangxi Province by increasing the river depth and extending the navigability period upstream to other important prefecture level capitals of the Jiangxi Province (Shangrao and Yingtan). By enhancing the efficiency and reducing costs associated with the waterborne transport system, the project fosters the modal shift from other more carbon-intensive types of transport, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and therefore contributing to the EIB Climate Change objectives. The economic benefits of the project stem from the transport cost reductions that can be obtained through such additional capacity and efficiency on inland navigation operations. Existing inland waterway transport users will see transport costs reduced as a result of the economies of scale made possible by the project. The cost reduction will also make inland waterway transport attractive for other cargo flows currently handled by road or rail.
According to Chinese Environmental Protection Law, the project is classified as a "navigation-power junction" and therefore should be subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Consequently, an EIA process has been undertaken according to Chinese Environmental Law. With the support of an external consultant, the promoter drafted an EIA report and undertook the associated field works and surveys during 2017. The competent authority (in this case, the Jiangxi Provincial Department of Environmental Protection) has issued approval and acceptance of the EIA report on 1st February 2018. The project does not have significant impacts in natural reserves, world cultural and natural heritage sites or other special ecologically sensitive areas.
The responsible authority for the procurement of the project is the Jiangxi Provincial Ports and Waterways Construction Investment Company (JPPWCIC), which is 100% owned by the Jiangxi Province Department of Transport. JPPWCIC is responsible not only for the procurement, construction and development of new infrastructure but also for the operation of such facilities related with the Industrial Wastewater (IWW) sector. The project is therefore considered as an operation in the public sector and the JPPWCIC needs to comply with the relevant sections of the EIB's Guide to Procurement (GtP). The JPPWCIC confirmed that the contracts to be financed by means of this operation will be procured through open or restricted tender procedures with publication in the OJEU.
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