A new 12.5-meter (41-foot) deepwater channel below the Yangtze River in Nanjing passed inspection and is approved for deepwater channel trial operation. The channel is between the Nantong Tiansheng Port and the Nanjing Xinshengao Port, which sit 227 kilometers (141 miles) apart. The total length of the navigation channel is 48.4 kilometers (30 miles). The 151 million yuan ($24 million USD) contract includes follow-up infrastructure dredging on the Fubei Waterway and maintenance and dredging of the fairway. The project began November 1, 2017.
The completion of the channel, which was the largest shipping project undertaken in this area, complies with the “One Belt and One Road” initiative requirement to build the Yangtze River Economic Belt. “One Belt and One Road” was proposed in 2013 by President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China as two new international trade routes to connect China with European, Middle East and other Asian countries through roads, railroads and waterways. To date, 68 countries with a combined Gross Domestic Product of $21 trillion have shown interest in the initiative.
The work will allow two-way navigation for 50,000-ton class seagoing vessels. Vessels in the 100,000-ton class will also be able to navigate to Nanjing under low tides. Navigation capacity will increase by about 50 percent.