Green Development

Going Green: Industry base points way for low-carbon transition

Updated: May 6, 2023 By ALEXIS HOOI and HU DONGMEI in Yinchuan China Daily Global Print
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Three main strengths

Liu pointed to three main strengths of China's energy development path-policy support, the advantage of scale, and an innovation-driven approach.

"In order to drive the development of China's energy industry and achieve its low-carbon goals, the country promotes energy conservation, emissions reduction and clean energy development with new policies and new measures," he said.

China is also the world's second-largest economy and the largest developing country, leading in its speed of development and market potential, with innovation positioned as a major driving force for economic growth, Liu said.

Baofeng's green achievements include a "solar plus agriculture" project that involves more than 2 million solar panels set up on 2,000 hectares beside the Yellow River to tap the 3,000 hours or so of sunshine that the region receives every year.

The panels also offer shade to goji berry crops planted at the site, significantly increasing vegetation cover and helping to provide jobs to local farmers. The project avoided more than 2 million tons of carbon emissions by the end of 2020, compared with a traditional coal-fired plant, according to the company.

By opening up a technical and economically feasible carbon-neutral path for the industry, the energy giant can also offer a demonstrated way for countries along the Belt and Road routes to reduce fossil fuel emissions, Liu said.

Ningdong's environmental inroads are already attracting industry leaders from abroad. Late last year, the initial phase of one of the region's largest foreign investment projects began, involving South Korean chemical and textiles conglomerate Hyosung. The project is touted as a key high-performance facility for spandex and related materials, marking a new step in the industrial transformation and upgrading of Ningdong, with a total investment of 12 billion yuan.

At an event marking the project rollout, Zhang Yajun, a member of the base's Party working committee and deputy director of the base's management committee, said the time span between meetings to explore the project involving 360,000 tons of annual production capacity and bringing it to fruition took less than 300 days. The impressive speed clearly reflected Ningdong's strength in entrepreneurship and innovation, Zhang said.

Joo Young-don, the South Korean company's general manager for project construction, told local media that the project's next few phases are firmly in place, setting it up to become the largest production facility of its kind in the world.

Ling Zhen, who heads the Ningdong bureau that handles investments, said the projects show how the base is building on the raw materials of the region to meet demand in higher-stage production capabilities. This in turn offers a "comprehensive ecosystem supporting complete industry chains" amid the sustainable development drive, Ling said.

Tian, the official at the base's economic development bureau, said, "We've certainly come a long way."

"We used to go all out to attract investors and enterprises to set up shop here. But now we can pick the most promising, suitable ones from all those who are interested in our impressive growth. The challenge now is to stick to the green plan, maintain our trajectory and move up to the next stages."




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