State Grid, a Contributor to the Belt and Road Initiative
Among a report of China’s 70 years achievements by National Bureau of Statistics, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has drawn a lot of attentions: more than 150 countries and international organizations have signed BRI cooperation agreements with China during the past six years. Moreover, China has realized total trade volume of over US$6 trillion and direct investment of US$90 billion with BRI partners. Such remarkable figures fully highlight the fruitful harvest of BRI and its contributions to global economic growth.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress, State Grid, in serving BRI, has firmly followed Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. Under its international strategy, State Grid is committed to infrastructure connectivity through the interconnection of power grids, financial integration through infrastructure investment, unimpeded trade through international production capacity cooperation and people-to-people bond through social responsibility fulfillment. Therefore, it can promote complementary energy supply among different countries and regions along with full implementation of the BRI, supporting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
Grid connectivity worldwide
From the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence to following the path of peaceful development, and from advocating the building of a harmonious world to working to build a community with a shared future for mankind, China possesses increasingly diversified diplomatic concepts in greater depth and width. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics has achieved major advances due to unprecedented global influence. In addition, the values of connectivity, consultation, contribution and shared benefits derived from the BRI as proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013 prevail across all walks of life, providing an important platform for all countries to share development benefits and a great opportunity for Chinese enterprises to seek new growth.
As a state-owned energy enterprise serving national energy security and socio-economic development, State Grid has actively engaged in the Belt and Road Initiative and carried out its international strategy. To this end, greater efforts have been made to facilitate overseas investment, international production capacity cooperation, grids interconnection, international standards as well as cooperation and exchanges.
One good example can be seen in Brazil. A 2,500-kilometer transmission line built by State Grid runs from Rio de Janeiro, crodd 78 cities in 5 states into the rainforests in the northwestern state of Pará.
In December of 2017, China’s first overseas UHV project, the first phase of Belo Monte Hydropower ±800kV UHV DC Transmission Project, was put into operation. At this point, the second phase of the project has completed its construction and commissioning. Such a “Brazilian Power Highway” will deliver more than one-third of electricity generated from Belo Monte hydropower station to load centers in southeastern Brazil, meeting annual electricity demands of 22,000,000 people.
Footprints in Africa
Abbe, an Ethiopian, was responsible for the construction team of the Ethiopian-Kenyan ±500kV DC Power Transmission Project. Joining the Chinese team for several years, who began from nothing and eventually became a responsible person, he said with a big smile: “China’s State Grid brings us more jobs through this project. It means a lot of support to our lives and more foreign exchange earnings through power transactions.” In fact, greater national power transformation projects have been completed or are under construction in a number of countries, including Egypt, Zambia and Kenya, injecting new vitality into these countries of historical significance.
Now, State Grid is moving forward in connectivity and energy cooperation with neighboring countries. For instance, a total of 10 transnational transmission lines from China to countries such as Russia, Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan have been completed, with a total power trading volume of over 27 TWh. In addition, State Grid is promoting similar new projects with neighboring countries, including Nepal and South Korea, in order to solve local power shortages and promote connectivity.
Relying on rich experience in overseas projects construction, operation and maintenance, State Grid makes breakthroughs in overseas investment and operation. State Grid has signed relevant project agreements with Pakistan and Egypt on their backbone transmission network construction, and invested in and operated backbone energy networks in seven countries and regions, including the Philippines, Brazil, Portugal, Australia, Italy, Greece and Hong Kong SAR. Moreover, the company also completed the construction of nation-level EPC grid projects in countries such as Ethiopia and Poland. By the end of 2018, State Grid’s overseas investment has amounted to US$21 billion and total overseas assets exceeded US$65.5 billion. In general terms, all overseas investment projects are operating steadily with positive profits.
Under Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, an increasing number of power projects enter into global markets, and more power technologies are praised in the world. To our delight, China’s power industry also sees upgrading development patterns, improving ideas and more openness, realizing individual welfare and shared benefits. Therefore, a greater number of countries have gained new development opportunities due to better electricity service, bringing about prosperity and good life.
Promoting Power Grid Technologies and Standards “Going Global”
In the 21st Century, emerging markets and developing countries, including China, are experiencing a period of rapid growth, and are also challenging previous international patterns dominated by Western countries. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, China, on the principle of “consultation, contribution and shared benefit”, has taken on its responsibilities as a major power in the reform and construction of global governance system.
Keeping pace with national development, State Grid enhances international production capacity cooperation, promotes the “two integrations” (namely “investment, construction and operation” integration and “technology, equipment and standards” integration) going global, drives the entire industrial chain of planning and design, engineering construction, equipment manufacturing and technical standards to gain greater global recognition, and shares relevant technologies and standards across a wider range.
For instance, the GDHA 500kV Transmission Project in Ethiopia was completed and delivered by State Grid on December 22, 2015. Such a large-scale project was conducted entirely according to Chinese standards and the main equipment used was 100% made by China. In general, Chinese companies contributed 85% of the project materials, stimulating the export of US$1.17 billion of electric power equipment.
Another notable case is the Matiari-Lahore ±660kV DC Transmission Project in Pakistan. It is the only power grid project developed under the framework of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CECC), which adopted ±660kV HVDC transmission technologies with the fully-independent intellectual property rights of State Grid. What’s more, nearly 80% of the project’s technical standards were from China, leading to exports of about 6.7 billion yuan of China’s mechanical and electrical equipment as well as technical services, while bridging the technical gap of Pakistan in this field.
In addition, State Grid also takes an active part in the European market. For example, Poland’s Kojienitz Substation Project is a pioneer EPC project conducted by a Chinese enterprise in the European Union, which marks a successful attempt for Chinese companies to enter the EU power transmission market. At present, State Grid has contacted additional Chinese power equipment manufacturers to get products certification, preparing for entry into Poland or even the EU market as a whole.
State Grid has always actively promoted Chinese standards going global by leveraging its innovative power grid technologies and engineering practices. In terms of UHV power transmission, the first and second phases of the Belo Monte Project feature full adoption of Chinese standards, driving nearly 5 billion yuan of Chinese power equipment exports. In terms of EV batteries charging and swapping, the EV Batteries Charging and Swapping Standards System led by State Grid becomes one of the world’s four systems in this field. Moreover, EPC power projects in Ethiopia, Kenya, Pakistan and other countries as well as smart meters localization production project in Nigeria have either completely or largely adopted Chinese standards.
Stronger capability through continuous leaps in major technologies and updated business philosophy leads to more growth opportunities. So far, State Grid has completed a batch of globally influential key projects, leading to equipment exports to more than 80 countries and regions. State Grid has led to formulate 65 international standards and issued 30 international standards. It also promotes the application of 262 Chinese standards in power projects in BRI countries. All these efforts are crucial to the shift from China’s technology advantages to global competitiveness.
As the Chinese saying goes, “the key to sound state-to-state relations lies in amity between the people, and the key to amity between the people lies in mutual understanding.” Currently, more and more concrete efforts have been made for BRI, including big projects of the century and activities to enhance people-to-people bonds. With values of peace, prosperity, openness, innovation and civilization, the BRI enables people in countries along the Belt and Road to gain a greater number of tangible benefits.
People-to-people bonds are a vital part and serve as the cultural basis of the BRI. In pursuing the BRI, State Grid stands ready to fully implement the concept of “community of a shared future for mankind” into every project. The company adheres to localized and long-term operation, abides by local laws and regulations, respects local cultures, religions and customs, so as to better integrate into local society, doing its part in contributing to the local economy and people’s well-being.
In the documentary The Belt and Road Initiative, a pressing matter for a young girl named Mannazar is finishing her homework before sunset. This is because of her family’s heavy burden in electricity fees, which accounts for one-tenth of total family expenditure, not to mention the village’s frequent power cuts.
Today, access to electricity is no longer a worry for more people like Mannazar. On April 3, State Grid’s new Lahore 500kV Transmission Project in Pakistan entered operation. It is of great significance to easing power supply pressure and provide quality electricity to Lahore, Pakistan's second largest city, and the major economic province of Punjab.
People enjoy closer bonds as power grids interconnect. State Grid not only improves people’s livelihoods through infrastructure construction, but also actively fulfills its social responsibilities, so as to meet local needs.
In Laos, Pakistan, Australia, Portugal, Ethiopia, Egypt, and other countries and regions with its presence, State Grid actively promotes cultural exchanges and integration. It has been awarded the “Best Practice of Corporate Social Responsibility Management” by the United Nations Global Compact due to public welfare programs in Brazil, including bilateral sports and cultural exchanges, a teen education program and the Male Slum Orchestra program. Moreover, the “Brighten Up Project” in Luzon Island of the Philippines represents a sure answer in efforts to provide better life and a higher level of education to local residents. Additionally, a greater number of projects operated by State Grid contribute to higher employment by recruiting local people.
Now, as an increasing number of partners benefit from cooperation and share China’s development achievements, the BRI has become a global undertaking to achieve win-win results through joint consultations and contributions.
Moving forward, many dreams will come true if China has a sure vision, according to a major German media source. Against this backdrop, State Grid will continue to follow the principles of “consultation, contribution and shared benefits”, and leverage its comprehensive advantages to serve the BRI, thus contributing to increasing China’s influence in the global energy sector, as well as to building a community with a shared future for mankind.
Source: State Grid News