Baoshan seals ore supply
Australian miner BHP Billiton and its joint-venture partners have signed an agreement with Baoshan Iron & Steel Co to supply an additional 94 million tons of iron ore under a 10-year contract.
With the new deal, Baosteel will be supplied with almost 10 million tons of iron ore each year for 10 years at a price to be mutually agreed annually. The first shipment will be in April, BHP Billiton said.
The company is now supplying Baosteel with six million tons per year and this contract will expire soon, the Chinese company said in a separate statement.
The announcement came amid the annual price talks between steel firms and the world's three mining giants, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Vale. Large mills have to secure long-term annual contracts which are cheaper than the cash contracts.
"This is a significant quantity of iron ore and highlights our interest in keeping pace with high demand in China during a time when supply is tight," said Tom Schutte, BHP Billiton's president for marketing. "We are doing this through substantial investment in the expansion of our mine, rail and port operations in Western Australia, with planned installed production capacity of 300 million tons per annum by 2015."
Baosteel Vice President Dai Zhihao said the new contract will enhance long-term cooperation between Baosteel and BHP Billiton. "The new supply highlights our optimism about the long-term prospects for the steel industry in China." --(1/31)
Time to vote
Delegates to the 13th Shanghai People's Congress cast their votes yesterday for the local delegates to the 11th National People's Congress which will be held early March in Beijing. Sixty-four members have been elected, including Xi Jinping, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. Shanghai Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng and city Mayor Han Zheng are also on the list. They will join regional panel discussions on key national government reports, including a keynote address by Premier Wen Jiabao. --(1/30)
Upgrades for Metro services
No new Metro lines will open this year but Metro services will be upgraded and extensive construction work will continue, a senior Metro official said yesterday.
"We will improve our Metro services and shorten Metro intervals this year," Ying Minghong, president of Shanghai Shentong Metro Group told Shanghai Daily during the plenary session of the Shanghai People's Congress.
He said more than five Metro lines and over 100 Metro stations are being constructed this year.
Three new Metro lines 7, 10 and 11 will be opened before 2010, giving the city's Metro system 11 lines covering 400 kilometers.
Ying said his group, which funds and manages the Metro system, is well aware of overcrowding on the Metro.
He said his group will import more trains this year to meet the demands of the increasing number of passengers, particularly those living in Pudong.
By the year's end, at least eight new trains will be added to the Metro Line 4, the city's only ring line, so that the average interval between trains will be just five minutes. At present its longest interval is more than 13 minutes.
Since the contracts to import extra trains are still being drawn up, the number of new trains to be added this year is still not known, Ying said.
More automatic ticket vending machines will be used in the future and passengers will find it easier to buy tickets.
The number of manned ticket booths will be cut but Metro staff will be around to help those who need it.
The city's Metro system jumped to a length of 234 kilometers last year with three new lines put into use but they have not relieved overcrowding.
During morning rush hour, some passengers, particularly on Metro Line 6 in Pudong, have to wait for up to three trains to be able to travel. --(1/29)
Highways in chaos as city shivers in snow
Traffic and road authorities in Shanghai will be doing their best today to try to minimize disruption as people returned to work after a weekend of heavy snow.
It started to snow on Saturday morning and continued throughout the weekend. It was the heaviest fall in recent years, stopping only at around dusk on both days.
Qingpu District had the deepest falls, some five centimeters, while Xujiahui area in Xuhui District had two centimeters, the most in downtown areas, said the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau, which issued a yellow road-freeze alert.
While many city residents reveled in walking in a winter wonderland, the snow had serious consequences for the already overtaxed transport system as the Spring Festival holiday rush continued.
Several highways linking Shanghai and neighboring provinces were closed yesterday morning due to heavy snow. Some re-opened by noon, but the Shanghai-Nanjing Highway remained closed.
In the city, the Middle Ring Road was closed in the early hours but re-opened at 8:30am yesterday.
Snow also covered the North-South Elevated Road, Yan'an Road Elevated Road, Nanpu Bridge, Yangpu Bridge and other major thoroughfares. Emergency teams used 70 tons of salt and other chemicals to clear the snow away.
The railway reported business as usual with only a few delays.
At Hongqiao airport, flights to Hunan Province were affected as the airport in Changsha, Hunan's provincial capital, was closed for a time during the weekend, causing many cancellations and delays.
More road accidents were reported yesterday than usual for a Sunday. At around 10am, two trucks, one van and six cars were involved in a pile-up on Luoshan Road in Pudong New Area. One driver was hurt.
The snow caused a warehouse roof to collapse in Zhabei District, injuring two workers.
The city's power authorities said they had to ration electricity in some parts of the city for the first time in winter in recent years, as the power network was overloaded. --(1/28)
Paying to apply
All successful US Non-Immigrant Visa applicants at the US Consulate General in Shanghai will be able to pay the China Post Courier Service fee at China CITIC Bank Shanghai's sub-branch in CITIC Square from February 18.
The US Consulate General said the change was to create additional space in the interview area and allow more applicants to be seen each day.
All applicants will receive a China Post mailing label after paying the fee at any branch of China CITIC Bank in Shanghai. --(1/27)
British lab rats to boost stock in Shanghai
More than 1,000 rats from Britain will arrive soon in Shanghai to boost the quality of laboratory animals.
Shanghai Laboratory Animal Resources Center in Zhangjiang High-Tech Park has adapted cages to make sure the rats have the same environment and food as they had in Britain.
A new ventilation system has been installed to give the rats fresh air at a constant temperature.
Xing Zhenghong, general manager of Shanghai Xipure B&K Laboratory Animal Facility Co, said the city needs two million lab rats each year. But local companies can only provide half that number, and locally bred rats - whose ancestors were also from Britain - suffered from genetic changes that could influence the results of experiments.
"We imported 1,011 rats from 16 common species this time, planning to make them breed one million offspring annually. All these high-quality rats will be used in experiments,'' said Xing. --(1/26)
City goes greener
Shanghai built 1,186 hectares of greenlands last year, boosting the city's green space to 12 square meters per person compared with 9.16 square meters in 2003, the Shanghai Greenery Administrative Bureau has announced.
The city's green space totaled 31,795 hectares as of the end of last year and 37.6 percent of urban areas were covered with greenbelts.
Ten parks were renovated and flowers or plants were added along roadsides on 10 streets, city officials said.
Binjiang Forest Park in Pudong New Area and the first phase of a wetland forest park at Paotaiwan in Wusong area of Baoshan District opened to the public last year.
Construction of Chenshan Botanical Gardens near Sheshan Hill in Songjiang District is also well underway. It will be home to more than 6,000 varieties of plants upon completion by 2010, making it the biggest of its kind in Shanghai. --(1/25)
HK opens up
Chinese mainland high school graduates will be allowed to apply for medical school at the University of Hong Kong for the first time this year, HKU officials announced yesterday.
The university plans to enroll 250 to 300 mainland students to study in its more than 30 undergraduate programs.
Students can apply by mailing their details to the university's China affairs office before April 30, or via the Internet before June 15. The application fee is HK$400 (US$51.24).
HKU officials said they would arrange a special campus open day on February 12 for mainland students and their parents to learn about the university's curriculum, extracurricular activities and student life in Hong Kong.
Admission and faculty officers are later scheduled to visit major mainland cities for information sessions. --(1/24)
Cold weather continues
There are no signs of warmer weather or sunshine in Shanghai this week, weathermen said yesterday.
After the rain and snow yesterday, skies will continue to be overcast today and tomorrow, with the temperature ranging between zero and three degrees Celsius, said the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
Snow and rain will return from late Friday, and the wet weather is expected to continue throughout Saturday. Cloudy weather is expected on Sunday. Forecasters said the mercury was not expected to change much.
Most areas of the city had snow and rain yesterday, thanks to the influence of a snow belt over the Yangtze River valley moving east. Yesterday's top temperature was just 2.8 degrees.
The bureau said temperatures will be quite low in the morning with strong winds blowing, and people should avoid early outdoor exercises.
The recent cold weather has been caused by a strong cold front from the north. Forecasters said it was hard to predict when its influence will end. --(1/23)
Future is black for taxi firms
Taxi companies are considering replacing the present white cloth seat covers with black leather to save water and reduce pollution.
There are about 45,000 cabs in the city and 18,000 tons of water are used to clean the covers twice a week. And the washing powder used could harm the environment.
Some taxi companies have suggested changing the white cloth seat covers, which get dirty easily, to black leather covers which are resistant to wear and tear, and can be wiped clean using disinfectant.
Shanghai introduced white cloth seat covers in cabs in 1997 but the problem of keeping them clean and undamaged soon became apparent.
"Though the cost seems much higher than that of a cloth cover, leather is more durable. --(1/22)
Museums exchange skills and exhibitions
The Shanghai Museum and the British Museum are to cooperate on a series of exhibitions.
An agreement signed during British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's visit to the city also includes exchanging items and sharing skills.
The exhibitions will include "Ancient Greece and the Olympic Games" in Shanghai in April, and "Ancient bronze and jade wares" in the UK in February 2009.
During the 2010 World Expo, the British Museum will hold an exhibition on Ancient India in Shanghai in conjunction with London's Victoria and Albert Museum.
Chen Xiejun, curator of the Shanghai Museum, said the two museums had been sharing expertise since last May.
Chinese painting and calligraphy experts are helping compile an index of Chinese painting and calligraphy masterpieces in the British Museum, giving more people the chance to see the works on the Internet, Chen said. --(1/21)
Two Australian universities have set up scholarship programs for Chinese students from this year, the Australian Consulate General in Shanghai announced on Friday.
Swinburne University of Technology's "Study Melbourne" program offers two scholarships worth A$23,000 (US$20,184) for new students from the Chinese mainland to study at the university this year.
The scholarships are for degrees in engineering, science and information technology.
The University of Sydney will also team up with Chinese Scholarship Council to launch five scholarships for PhD candidates to study at the university's school of economics and business.
Meanwhile, the British Council has announced that the Scottish International Scholarship will be expanded to cover foreign students majoring in finance from this year. --(1/20)
Ready for emergencies
A total of 75 neighborhood committees in the city have been provided with emergency tool boxes by local civil defense authority.
The equipment is for use when there are fires, chemical leaks, cases of electric shock and other disasters.
The equipment includes gas masks, ropes, pinch bars, torches, fire extinguishers, insulating gloves and shoes, medicine, direction batons, security lines, electric horns and reflective vests. --(1/19)
Shanghai leads national innovation
Shanghai has ranked first in the national annual report on regional innovation ability for the third-straight year while Beijing and Guangdong finished second and third respectively, said the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai yesterday.
Indexes on knowledge creativity, industry structure and hardware for scientific and technological innovation earned Shanghai higher marks compared to previous years.
Indexes on patents, scientific and technological thesis and input-output ratio are among the major impetuses to promote the city¡¯s knowledge creativity.
The amount of patents totaled 1,678 from 880 a year earlier. The input-output ratio seized first place from third in the previous year.
The output value of new and high technology industry accounted for 57.32 percent of gross domestic product, up 4.96 percentage points from a year ago, the report said. The electronics industry and added value of the manufacturing industry accounted for 9.61 percent of GDP, 4.96 percentage points higher than a year earlier.
The National Team of Strategy of Science and Technology Development issued the annual report after assessing 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities. --(1/18)
Villas to get VIP treatment
Shanghai's Luwan District is planning a facelift for 43 downtown villas in Sinan Road which will become venues to receive VIPs during World Expo Shanghai 2010.
Most of the villas on Sinan Road, in the former French Concession, were built in 1930s. Some were homes to the famous, including Peking Opera master Mei Lanfang, philosopher Feng Youlan and Chinese patriot Zhang Xueliang.
Thirty-seven of the villas are among Shanghai's 632 protected historic buildings.
Luwan is also planning to turn its southern part - along the west bank of Huangpu River - to a sub-center of the city in three to five years as the area is the home to corporation pavilions in the World Expo site.
The district government said it will invest 2.4 billion yuan (US$330 million) in an 80-hectare area near Jiangnan shipyard to create a business center.
Luwan District is already a popular area, containing the shopping center Huaihai Road, the historic architecture of the former French Concession and Xintiandi with its bars and restaurants.
More than 2,000 enterprises in the service industry have their regional offices in Luwan District. --(1/17)
Metro gets longer
Work on the city's longest Metro line, Line 11, will start this year and will have five more stations than originally planned when it is completed by 2011.
The city's official environmental protection Website has published details of the line for public comment.
The first phase of Line 11, a 46-kilometer-section, will link the rural Jiading District with the downtown Jiangsu Road, including a branch to reach the Formula One Racing Track.
The second phase will run for 15 kilometers and have seven stations, linking Jiangsu Road to Shangnan Road in Pudong.
Eventually, the line will be extended to the Lingang New City of coastal Nanhui District, with an entire distance of 120 kilometers.
By the end of 2009, it will take only 35 minutes from downtown Jiangsu Road to reach Formula One Racing Track. --(1/16)
City breathes cleaner air last year
Shanghai enjoyed better air last year with 328 days of either excellent or good air due to environmental protection efforts by local authorities.
The city had 92 days with excellent air in 2007. The rate of excellent or good air quality hit 100 percent in July, September and October, the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau announced.
A 110-year-old power plant in Huangpu District was shut down last year and several coal-fired units were upgraded to cut emissions.
"Now the air quality has been largely improved in the Wusong Industrial Area as my white shirt is no longer dusty after I wear it for just one day like it was before,¡±said a resident surnamed Chen, who lives in Baoshan District.
Thirteen sewage treatment plants were built last year, boosting the city's treatment capacity by more than 900,000 cubic meters per day and cut chemical oxygen demand (COD) discharges, the measure of the capacity of water to consume oxygen, by 16,900 tons.
The city spent more than 4 billion yuan (US$551 million) in 2006 and 2007 to clean up rivers in suburban areas.
Shanghai now has an average of 12 square meters of green space per person as of the end of last year compared with 9.16 square meters in 2003.
The city now has 18 public greenlands or parks downtown that are home to more than 5,000 birds of 63 species. --(1/15)
Icy times ahead
A strong cold front with rain and ice particles hit the city yesterday.
The lowest temperature in the city was at Chongming County (2.6 degrees Celsius) yesterday morning, while the Xujiahui area was four degrees.
According to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau, both areas and Qingpu District encountered rain and ice yesterday.
The temperatures are expected to continue to drop. It will be cloudy today with a low of one degree.
The temperature in suburban areas will fall to minus one over the next two days.
Because of the cold weather, fog is not expected, the bureau forecast.--(1/14)
Graceful South Korean actress Lee Yeong Ae attracted many fans when she appeared in Shanghai for a commercial event on Wednesday.
A beloved actress in South Korea in the late 1990s, the 37-year-old star charmed many Chinese fans through the 70-episode TV series "A Jewel in the Palace."
It was broadcast in South Korea in 2003 and was syndicated to various Chinese TV stations in 2005.
In the series, Lee played a gifted and beautiful Court Lady who worked hard to become the first female Royal Physician in ancient Korea.
Lee's last work was portraying a strange killer in Park Chan Wook's movie "Lady Vengeance," the last of Park's trilogy that was nominated for Golden Lion and won the Little Golden Lion in Venice Film Festival in 2005.
Speaking of her absence from the screen in the past two years, Lee said: "I'm waiting for a good script that could offer me the chance to play a character even better than in 'A Jewel in the Palace.' Maybe I can play a queen next time." --(1/13)
More for visitors
The "tourist passport" released in Shanghai last year will be extended to the Yangtze River Delta region, the Shanghai Tourism Administrative Commission said.
The passport offers 10 percent discounts for tourists visiting various popular destinations in the city.
This year the commission will add more items to the passport, such as scenic spots suitable for the elderly or students, said the commission. --(1/12)
From late this month, local drivers, whose vehicle emissions fail environmental standards will have their vehicle certificates confiscated, city officials said yesterday.
The city government has established a special task force of more than 20 inspectors who will randomly check vehicle emissions on streets.
The team will have scientific equipment to check emissions. Vehicle owners who are found wanting will be asked to repair their exhaust systems within 15 days. If not, their vehicles will not be allowed on city roads.
But the government will not be imposing fines on offending vehicle owners. --(1/11)
Donors to be volunteers
The city hopes to meet its target of collecting 80,000 liters of blood through voluntary donations this year.
In previous years, the Shanghai Blood Administration Office relied on quotas from universities and enterprises to fill the need.
The office said it was a tough task to meet this year's target, which is 2,000 liters higher than last year.
Moves will be taken this year to prevent blood shortages and maintain a reasonable storage of different blood types.
"Shanghai has the second largest demand for blood, following Beijing, which consumed about 84,000 liters of blood last year," said Wang Ying, director of Shanghai Blood Administration Office. "Local consumption was about 80,000 liters last year, since patients all over the nation and from other countries come to Shanghai and Beijing for treatment due to superior medical technology.--(1/10)
Hong Kong help
Shanghai Mobile has designed a special service for local GoTone users enabling them to make calls in Hong Kong with the same SIM card.
Users will have to obtain a different number in Hong Kong. When subscribers travel from Shanghai to Hong Kong, their old local numbers will be automatically transferred to the new numbers and they will be able to call Shanghai for 0.69 yuan (9.5 US cents) per minute.
Both numbers can be in service whether the subscribers are in Shanghai or in Hong Kong. Receiving calls in Hong Kong will cost 0.39 yuan a minute.
The service fee is 19 yuan per month. People can visit any Shanghai Mobile business center with their identity cards to apply for the service or send a short message "KTYKDH" to 10086, or call 10086 for the service.--(1/9)
Damp days ahead
The city can expect drizzle again from Thursday through to the weekend as a cold front moves in from the north.
The cold front, however, will not have a dramatic influence on the temperature which should remain above 10 degrees Celsius during the day, said the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
Today and tomorrow the city can expect cloudy skies with the daily temperatures ranging from between six and eight degrees to between 14 and 15 degrees.
The daily high temperatures will drop from Thursday's 14 degrees to 11 degrees on Saturday while the low temperatures will rise to 10 to 11 degrees on Thursday and Friday. After that the temperature could be expected to drop once again to seven degrees on Saturday, the bureau said. --(1/8)
Houses flooded after burst
At least 65 residential houses and stores in Shanghai's Putuo District were flooded early yesterday morning after a water pipe burst.
Last night, workers from Hubei Tap Water Co were still working to repair the damaged pipeline and the work is expected to be completed today. The repair didn't affect water supplies in the area, the company said.
According to a resident surnamed Tang living on Puxiong Road, she found her home flooded when she woke up about 6am yesterday.
"I suddenly found the whole floor had submerged under water when I woke up," said Tang.
Many stores along the road also reported damage caused by flooding.
The company sent an emergency team to the area around 7:30am.
A preliminary check found a 500-millimeter pipe under Puxiong Road had burst causing the flooding. The pipe was old and the recent drop in temperatures may have caused it to burst.
Chen Qingrong, who is in charge of the repair work, said investigations into the cause were continuing.
There are dozens of underground pipelines in the area and the complicated condition may take a bit longer to pinpoint the exact location of the burst pipe, repairmen said.--(1/7)
Old Party office is on the move
The 70-year-old building that used to be a Party office on Shanhaiguan Road is to be moved 100 meters east in a single operation, the Jing'an District Culture and History Bureau said on Friday.
The three-story building, a protected architectural heritage structure that is now empty, will be used to host an exhibition of Party history.
The new location will be adjacent to the Jing'an sculpture park which is under construction and will be open to the public next month.
The relocation is necessary because the new hall of the Shanghai Natural History Museum will be set up at the north side of the park and the original office building is in the way.
Established in 1928, the building was used as the Party office from 1928 to 1930. The building is in the Shanghai traditional shikumen style, with an attic on the third floor.
"In previous years, the building housed residents," said Yang Jiguang, director of the Jing'an District Culture and History Bureau. "But now all the residents have left and the empty building is just waiting to be moved."
The starting date for the relocation has been set for after the Spring Festival on February 7.
Yang said the project aims to restore the old building to its original architectural characteristics, with the purpose of displaying historical documents in a memorial exhibition hall.
"We plan to make the old office building, Jing'an sculpture park and the Shanghai Natural History Museum integrated as a whole," Yang said.--(1/6)