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Chinese energy company provides more than just power to local people in South Africa

By Wang Lei (People's Daily Online)    15:04, December 14, 2020

Longyuan South Africa Renewables, a subsidiary of China Longyuan and China Energy, the world’s largest wind power developer, has recently published its first corporate social responsibility report in South Africa, with a major focus on China Energy in South Africa and management of sustainable development goals.

Longyuan SA Renewables develops and operates De Aar Wind Power Projects, providing clean energy, making positive contributions in responding to the South African government’s energy conservation and emission reduction, and fulfilling the obligations outlined in the “Paris Agreement.”

The projects can supply 760 million kWh of clean electricity every year, resulting in the saving of 215,800 tons of standard coal and reducing 619,900 tons of carbon dioxide emission, satisfying the power demand of 300,000 households, making positive contributions to the local energy structure adjustment, along with clean, low-carbon development.

Building green quality projects with high standards

The huge workload of the De Aar Wind Power Projects can be seen from the following data: 57,000 cubic meters of concrete casting, 7,100 tons of reinforcement materials, 150 km of internal roads, 170 km of internal transmission lines, more than 1,600 vehicle-times of large cargo transportation, and 800,000 km of total transportation distance.

The Chinese employees’ excellent quality of diligence and hard work has also won the respect of local stakeholders. Local partners told the media that the project was completed earlier than expected, which was a construction miracle in South Africa, especially with the 100% persistence, perseverance, and commitment of the Longyuan team.

“They have amazing abilities to solve problems and overcome challenges.”

The construction contractors of the project are all local companies. Local employees are designated for civil and electrical work, wind turbine installation services, technical and legal consulting services, labor and senior management, improving the localization rate of employees.

The company complies with the unique BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) requirements, spending ZAR15 million annually on ED/SED related expenses to revitalize the black economy.

The company has also actively participated in industry associations, carried out green power technology exchange, and fully integrated into the local industry and market environment to learn advanced practices and development experiences of wind power industries in different countries.

Supporting the local community in every aspect

During the two decades of project operation, Longyuan South Africa has been committed to contributing ZAR15 million every year to the culture and education, medical and health care, skill training and other public welfare undertakings in the community where the project is located, to promote the healthy development of the local economy and community.

The access to high-quality education is the basis for improving people’s livelihood and achieving sustainable development. Longyuan South Africa has attached importance to improving the living quality of students, actively aiding in education scholarships, teacher training, school construction and improvement of school water and power facilities, which promoted students to receive inclusive education and acquire self-improvement abilities.

Longyuan South Africa has visited local schools, donating ZAR1 million to 10 local community schools to help education development in 2017 and provided ZAR4 million annual assistance to 40 outstanding university students in the Northern Cape Province, covering all tuition fees, accommodation fees and daily living expenses during their education.

Founding four early education centers for children, spending about ZAR2 million per year, Longyuan South Africa conducted early education for local children, especially those who were poor or with psychological and physical disabilities, which in turn has benefited about 320 local children and brought employment to 38 local residents.

After the outbreak of COVID-19, Longyuan allocated the medical bus, medical equipment and company-funded medical staff to the local health department free of charge for community epidemic screening work, greatly complementing the government’s testing power. 

By the end of November, more than 30,000 people had been tested, contributing ZAR3.48 million to governments at all health department levels, hospitals and communities in South Africa to the fight against COVID-19 by the end of May 2020.

The company has also actively integrated into the community by sponsoring sports games and group activities. Since 2018, they have sponsored sports games in Emthanjeni Municipality, where the project is located, providing medals, trophies, and other items for the games every year, which is praised by the local governments.

The company has stuck to low-carbon development, improved energy efficiency, protected ecological environment, actively responded to climate change, and strove to be a contributor of the construction of a beautiful South Africa.

Just as the management of Longyuan South Africa said, they will continue to uphold the principles of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith, turning the traditional friendly advantages of China and South Africa into a driving force for cooperation and development, realizing mutual benefit and win-win development, while contributing clean energy to the nation.  

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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