BEIJING (Reuters) - China will expand its railway network to 150,000 km (93,200 miles) by 2020, including 30,000 km of high-speed rail, the country’s top economic planner said on Wednesday.
The plan will mean a 24 percent increase in the length of China’s railway network from 2015 and a 58 percent expansion in high-speed rail.
The government will encourage state-owned China Railway Corp to expand bond issuance to finance its investment, Fei Zhirong, an official at the National Development and Reform Commission, told a new conference.
China aims to invest 800 billion yuan ($119.71 billion) in fixed assets in 2016 as part of the effort to expand the railway network.
China Railway invested 823.8 billion yuan in 2015, building 9,531 km (5,922 miles) of new lines which included 3,306 km of high-speed rail, according to state media.
The high-speed rail system will reach 38,000 km by 2025, Fei said, as part of the country’s medium- and long-tem plans.
The vast majority of China’s high-speed railway lines, however, are loss-making. Only one - the Beijing-Shanghai link that opened in 2011 - is profitable, according to the railway authority.
A bond prospectus issued by shareholder Tianjin Railway Construction on July 7, which was widely reported in state media on Wednesday, showed that the line posted net profit of 6.58 billion yuan ($984.48 million) in 2015.
In May, China Railway Corp reported that it had a deficit of 8.73 billion yuan between January to March, up 35 percent year-on-year.
($1 = 6.6830 Chinese yuan renminbi)
Reporting By Beijing Monitoring Desk and Kevin Yao, Brenda Goh in Shanghai; Editing by Kim Coghill, Robert Birsel