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China Merchants Ports’ (CMPorts) smart port project in Mawan in western Shenzhen, was officially opened on Sunday, making it the Greater Bay Area’s first 5G-enabled container terminal.
The project was launched in 2015, with CMPorts signing a strategic cooperation framework with French mainline operator CMA CGM, involving widening the Tonggu Channel and converting four multipurpose vessel wharves into two berths each able to accommodate ultra-large containerships.
Widely seen as President Xi Jinping’s next ambitious project, after the Belt and Road initiative, the Greater Bay Area was conceptualised in 2017 and targets greater economic cooperation between Hong Kong, Macau and nine cities, including Shenzhen, in Guangdong province.
Mawan port features autonomous trucks using digital perception radar sensor solutions from US digital imaging radar specialist Uhnder. These sensor solutions enable trucks to operate safely, even in rain, fog or dust.
The port facelift covers 983,600 sq metres, with a wharf length of 1.93 km and a designed annual throughput capacity of three million teu.
State-controlled CMPorts said Mawan was the first smart port upgraded from conventional dry bulk/general cargo terminals and features technologies based on Chinese intellectual property rights.
It features nine elements, including CMCore, a terminal operating system developed by CMPorts, China Merchants ePort, CMPorts’ integrated customer service platform, blockchain, artificial intelligence and low-carbon emissions.
With automated operations, it is estimated that annually, Mawan port could reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions by about 1,350 tonnes, carbon monoxide emissions by about 450 tonnes and sulphur dioxide emissions by about 15 tonnes.