TAIYUAN, Dec. 7 -- China plans to invest more than 150billion yuan (21.9 billion U.S. dollars) in its northern coal-rich Shanxi Province by 2015, according to officials from the Ministry of Railways and the province.
Shanxi, accounting for one-third of China's coal output, is expected to have 5,300 km of railways by 2015, up from 3,300 km at present, said Yang Zhongmin, head of the ministry's department of development and planning, at a meeting here in the capital of Shanxi on Saturday evening.
Construction will start in the first half of 2009 on at least three new rail lines, according to the meeting.
Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun pledged the ministry's support for the projects.
Zhang Baoshun, Secretary of the Shanxi provincial committee of the Communist Party of China, said the projects would play a positive role in boosting domestic demand amid the global financial crisis.
Zhang said the province's coal could be shipped directly to coastal ports in Shandong Province with the construction of a railway in the mid-southern part of Shanxi.