China and the Philippines were planning to build four artificial islands.
The four new artificial islands appear to be planned around Davao. They will be developed for mixed-use, business and residential purposes along the coastline under a P39-billion reclamation project that city government plans to undertake with a major private developer.
The joint venture agreement was signed by the city government and Mega Harbour Port and Development Inc. last month.
“There will be no relocation because President Duterte does not want to remove the people in the area,” said Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang, chair of the city council’s committee on finance and ways and means.
Beijing’s South China Sea land reclamation work has reportedly resulted in 2,900 acres of land reclaimed over a period of roughly 20 months, from early 2014 to August 2015. Here, perspective is important: of the other countries to reclaim land in the South China Sea, Vietnam has reclaimed 80 acres, Malaysia has reclaimed 70, the Philippines has reclaimed 14 and Taiwan has reclaimed approximately eight over various length of time. China has managed to create more than 17 times more land in 20 months than all of the other claimants combined over the past 40 years, accounting for 95 percent of all artificial land in the Spratlys.
The main driving force of China’s reclamation has been a fleet of new dredgers, including the technologically advanced self-propelled cutter-suction dredger (CSD) Tianjing, which is capable of dredging and reclaiming land at a rate of 4,500 cubic meters an hour. These dredgers simply did not exist 15 years ago, yet now China can deploy dozens of them simultaneously in the South China Sea.
Once again, China’s rapid development has enabled it to muster a level of effort that smaller neighbors simply cannot match, even collectively, permanently altering geography in the Spratlys.
Directed investments into the Chinese dredging industry that have seen China’s dredging capacity more than triple in the past 15 years and given China a valuable new tool for building not only islands in the South China Sea, but also much of the port infrastructure needed for its Maritime Silk Road.
Investment in new dredging technologies greatly increased as China sought to close the technological gap with leading dredging countries. The first result of this investment was the import of three foreign TSHD’s: Xin Hailong, Tongtan and Wanqingsha, all with 12,888 m3 hoppers.
Within several years, China had already increased its domestic TSHD-building technology and capacity considerably, and in 2010 completed construction on the 18,343 m3 Tongcheng, which is also capable of dredging in up to 85 meters of water. Largely based on Tongcheng’s design, China’s Tongtu launched in 2012, bringing China’s domestic TSHD size record to 20,000 cubic meters. Between 2005 and 2012, China produced at least 20 TSHDs with hopper sizes of 9,000 m3 or more.
A significant technological gap still remains between Chinese dredgers, which tend to be heavier and therefore less efficient; and leading foreign dredgers, which have continually expanded to include a 46,000 m3 TSHD developed by Jan de Nul.
China’s largest accomplishment in dredge-building came in 2010, with the launching of Tianjing, China’s first self-propelled CSD, and also Asia’s largest self-propelled CSD and the world’s third largest.
This 120-meter-long ship can dredge up to 4,500 m3/h, more than 100,000 m3 of material a day, at a maximum depth of 30 meters, and travel at speeds of up to 12 knots. Tianjing also boasts a total installed power of 25,760 kilowatts. However, while the large CSD certainly represents a Chinese technological breakthrough, it was not solely the product of Chinese design, but rather the cooperative efforts of SJTU and Vosta LMG, a German company that also built the Ursa, a 115 meter-long self-propelled CSD
The growth of China’s dredging industry so far has been impressive, more than tripling capacity and going from fifth to first globally (in aggregate capacity) in 10 years (2000–10).
Davao island Development plan
The islands will have a total area of 214 hectares of land, according to Ivan Cortez, head of the Davao City Investment and Promotion Center.
On one of them, with an area of 75 hectares of land between Agdao and Sta. Ana, a 5-hectare government center and a port will be built. On another (39.24 ha), a central business district and a shopping center will rise.
The third island (59.47 ha) will be used for tourist centers and residential resorts, while the fourth (40.89 ha) has a township development plan.
3- to 4-yr project
According to Dayanghirang, Mega Harbour wants to complete the project within three to four years from start of construction. Originally, it set a 2019 deadline, but the documents required by law are still being processed, he said.
Both the city government and the developer are currently awaiting consent from the Philippine Reclamation Authority and an environmental clearance certificate from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Impact on environment
Mary Ann Fuertes, executive director of Interface Development Interventions, an environmental group, has expressed concern about the project’s impact on the environment and the communities surrounding the area.
Transparency should be observed to ensure that the ecosystem, as well as rights and safety of communities, are protected, Fuertes said.
SOURCE -Inquirer.net, National Interest