HARBIN, April 27 (Xinhua) -- A grain transportation port connecting Russia and China is under construction in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, local authorities said.
Construction of the port began in early April. The first stage, with 150,000 tonnes of annual throughput, will be completed by September this year.
The port will have a full annual throughput of 650,000 tonnes upon completion of the second stage by September next year.
Located in the city of Fuyuan, the port will connect with Khabarovsk and Nikolayevsk-on-Amur ports in Russia, as well as ports in the Sea of Japan and south China, creating shipping routes for grain harvested in Russia by Chinese enterprises to be transported to Heilongjiang and cities in south China.
The port is constructed jointly by Heilongjiang Shipping Group and Dongjin Group with an investment of about 300 million yuan (about 48 million U.S. dollars).
According to Zhang Dajun, board chairman of Dongjin Group, there is large area of uncultivated farmland in Russia's Far East and Siberia regions. The company has rented one million mu (66,667 hectares) of farmland in Russia, and half of the land will be planted with soybeans by the end of this year.
In recent years, companies based in Heilongjiang, Shanxi, Henan and Guangdong provinces have planted grain in Russia, increasing the demand for grain transportation to China.
The new shipping route will cut transportation costs dramatically compared with land transportation which was primarily used in the past.