Energy cooperation empowers Belt and Road

2023-10-17 08:19:39China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

A rendering of State Grid Corporation of China's efforts to expand international cooperation and improve the well-being of local communities. (CHINA DAILY)

State Grid ramping up international collaborations to promote infrastructure connectivity and people-to-people exchanges

Judging by its overseas success stories, State Grid Corporation of China gets a real charge out of offering high-quality services to advance the Belt and Road Initiative. Over the past decade, the State-owned enterprise has conducted extensive international energy cooperation to promote infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, financial integration and people-to-people exchanges.

With power grid operations as its core business, the company has diversified into finance, international businesses, supporting sectors and strategic emerging industries for balanced development.

By leveraging leading-edge technologies in multiple sectors, including ultrahigh voltage, smart grid and new energy, State Grid optimizes comprehensive strengths ranging from technology, capital and equipment to management and a highly skilled workforce to cooperate with countries and regions involved in the BRI. The company's rich experience in the construction and operation of large-scale power grids is the proverbial icing on the cake.

To date, State Grid has invested in and operated 13 major power grid companies in 10 countries and regions, providing an important showcase for Chinese businesses.

Its expertise in grid construction, management and technology allows for an integrated export model that covers the entire industry chain and value chain, ranging from planning and design, engineering construction and machinery manufacturing to technological standards.

State Grid has been contracted to build key national power grids in Brazil, Pakistan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Poland, Myanmar and Laos, promoting the "going global" mix of China's equipment, technologies, services, brands and standards, and contributing made-in-China solutions to global energy governance.

The company has applied 525 Chinese standards to power construction projects in Belt and Road countries and regions, and since 2009, it has initiated 53 international standards projects in the International Electrotechnical Commission and 25 international standards projects in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Of them, 42 standards have been formally released.

In addition, State Grid has led the establishment of 18 technical report working groups in the International Council on Large Electric Systems and participated in a series of high-profile forums and other events to promote international cooperation and advance research on the global energy sector's transformation toward green operations.

Among the company's overseas undertakings, building the second phase of the Belo Monte 800-kilovolt ultrahigh voltage direct current transmission project in Brazil is one of the best examples of international power cooperation. The country's key national "power expressway" project boasts state-of-the-art technologies and the highest voltage in the entire Americas, according to State Grid. Serving as a main artery in Brazil's national grid, it transmits abundant hydroelectric resources from the Amazon Basin in the northern part of the country all the way to southeastern regions such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, spanning 81 cities in five states and benefiting 22 million people.

By providing low-loss clean energy power transmission in large capacity over such a long distance, the project has transformed Brazil's energy power sector and provides strong support for its green and low-carbon development. It transmits roughly 41.6 billion kilowatt-hours of clean hydropower annually, equivalent to saving 15 million metric tons of standard coal and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by about 40 million tons a year, thus earning recognition as a typical State Grid international project practicing the green development concept under the BRI framework.

As the transmission line traverses rainforests, hills and grasslands that boast an abundance of wildlife, State Grid placed great emphasis on ecological preservation. The project team had approximately 2,000 hectares of forests planted and rolled out some 6,200 measures for wildlife and tropical rainforest preservation, contributing to Brazil's biodiversity protection. The project also provides 25,000 direct employment opportunities for local residents.

Milestone Pakistan project

Another shining example of State Grid's success is the Matiari-Lahore 660-kilovolt high-voltage direct current transmission project in Pakistan. Funded, built and operated by the company, it is the only power grid project in the realm of energy cooperation under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and since going into operation three years ago, it has significantly slashed power transmission costs, improved the life quality of local residents and supported the growth of green agriculture and the high-tech industry.

Stretching 886 kilometers, the transmission line boasts the highest voltage, longest distance and largest capacity in Pakistan, transmitting electricity from the south to the north of the country.

Over the past three years, the project's key equipment and operation management have withstood such challenges as extreme high temperatures, electricity demand peaks and severe floods.

As an important milestone of energy cooperation between China and Pakistan and their joint efforts to advance the BRI, it provides stable and high-quality power to 23.17 million people and a strong impetus for economic and social development, winning Corporate Social Responsibility Awards presented at the National Forum for Environment and Health in Pakistan in 2022 and 2023.

The project has also provided enormous employment opportunities for local residents, creating some 7,000 jobs during its peak construction period.


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