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Olympic shopping list

Cover story - China

Beijing hosts the Olympics in less than six years time, and wants to have much of the construction work finished within four.

A multi-billion pound project list is about to go out to tender.

Olympic competition is fierce and the games have not even started.

A stream of foreign companies is flowing through the doors of the Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games 2008 (BOCOG), which is preparing to invite design tenders in August before awarding contracts by the end of the year. Beijing's main design institutes and contractors are deep in discussion about how to work with international firms who can enhance their performance. Construction of the sporting venues is scheduled to start in July 2003, to be ready for trials by mid 2006, yet many key decisions have still to be taken.

Beijing needs 15 new venues, including:

an 80,000 capacity National Stadium

an 18,000 seat swimming centre

an 18,000 seat indoor stadium

a 25,000 capacity baseball field at Wukesong

an aquatic park for rowing events at Shunyi, 36km north of Beijing

a 25,000 seat velodrome at Laoshan, 25km outside Beijing

a national hockey stadium lan archery field

a hall for events from badminton to wrestling ltennis and swimming centres Extensive refurbishment and expansion will be carried out on another 17 existing venues.

At Qingdao, 690km outside Beijing, a marina is to be built for Olympic sailing events. Football stadia will be built at Tianjin, Shenyang, Shanghai and Qinhuangdao.

Close to £11bn has been earmarked for delivery of sporting infrastructure, with a further £8bn set aside for environmental improvement works, including waste water and municipal waste management, air quality improvement and transportation.

Environmental impact assessments and schematic designs have already been carried out for the principal Olympic site, which will be built on a 1,215ha area of parkland in one of Beijing's prime development areas. Detailed master planning of the site and all new venues is up for grabs.

There is also a huge amount of associated infrastructure work planned. Some projects, including extensions to the Beijing Metro, are already in train. But the municipal authority, which with BOCOG is organising Olympicrelated projects, is setting out to upgrade roads and bus services, provide additional hotel accommodation, increase water and power supply, upgrade air quality, and improve sewerage and solid waste management.

In the tourist resort and port city of Qingdao, where sailing events will be held, the Olympics are seen as a spur to delivery of an impressive list of urban improvement projects. Major schemes include design and construction of a 5.3km long bridge across the mouth of Qingdao bay to revitalise the city's poor western districts. A metro system connecting the city centre with the airport, two power plants, improved water supply and sewage treatment, and large scale rehousing are also planned. A new 39km road linking south east and north west Qingdao has been approved and will be put out to international tender next month.

INFOPLUS

Olympic info: www. china. org. cn www. beijing-2008. org www. tdctrade. com/olympics www. beijing-olympic. org

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