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Construction on Tibet's Biggest Logistics Center to Be Completed Next Year

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Workers will complete building of the biggest logistics center in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region on June 30 next year after 21 months of construction, a project engineer has said.

The logistics center, covering 533 hectares, is located next to a railway station at an altitude of 4,500 meters in Nagqu Township of Nagqu County in northern Tibet. It is about 300 km northeast ofthe regional capital Lhasa.

The project is expected to further exploit the potential of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway that opened on July 1, 2006 and boost the region's economic development, said Song Jinlun, the project's deputy chief engineer.

Construction on the logistics center was started on September 28 last year with a planned cost of almost 1.5 billion yuan (US$220 million).

It was scheduled to be finished within 15 months, but the construction was affected by a riot in Lhasa in March, a major earthquake in the neighboring Sichuan Province in May and rare snowstorms in Nagqu last month, Song said. Therefore the project will be prolonged by about six months.

"So far we have invested 1.12 billion yuan into the project. The construction is going on smoothly," he said.

The center is expected to handle 2.23 million tonnes of cargo by 2015 and 3.1 million tonnes by 2020, including raw minerals, local herbs, construction materials and commodity goods, local officials have said.

Tibet's economy has been growing at an annual rate of 12 percent or more over the past seven years, and the Qinghai-Tibet Railway is believed to have played a great role in boosting the region's development since its opening two years ago.

In 2007, the region's gross domestic product (GDP) was 34.2 billion yuan, about 12,000 yuan per capita -- double the 2002 figure. The per capita net income of farmers and herdsmen posted double-digit growth for the fifth consecutive year and reached 2,788 yuan in 2007.

(Xinhua News Agency November 30, 2008)