Yangkou Port spurs flourishing coastal economy
An aerial view of PetroChina's natural gas storage tanks on Yangguang Island. [Photo provided to en.nantong.gov.cn]
The LNG terminal that can berth vessels up to 100,000 tons at Yangkou Port in Rudong county – administered by Nantong city in East China's Jiangsu province – on Aug 30 welcomed its 57th LNG tanker, the Woodside Rees Withers.
The arrival of the vessel also marked the 475th LNG tanker to berth at Yangkou Port since its opening in 2008.
With hindsight, there is no doubt about great success of the port. But going back 30 years, when its construction was being mulled, there were reportedly questions about whether Yangkou Port could be built or not.
In the early 1980s, academician Wang Ying's research team discovered three tidal channels in the coastal area of Jiangsu. They believed these channels could be used to build deep-water ports. In 1983, the Chinese Academy of Sciences confirmed that Rudong, by taking advantage of one of the tidal channels, could build a port that could handle vessels of up 100,000-200,000 tons.
Over the next 20 years, Rudong invited more than 20 leading domestic institutions to conduct research and provide solid theoretical support for Yangkou Port's construction.
Due to the geographic and geological conditions, the decision was made to build an artificial island first, requiring a huge amount of investment.
In 2003, Rudong and Hong Kong-based Blue River Holdings reached an agreement to go ahead and jointly construct major port infrastructure.
The subsequent artificial island – Yangguang Island, also known as an energy island – has one PetroChina Jiangsu LNG receiving station and six natural gas storage tanks at present.
In the next few years, the natural gas capacity of Yangkou Port is projected to exceed 20 million tons. By then it will have become the largest LNG distribution center in China.