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State firms, investment companies play key roles in meeting green goals

By CHENG YU | China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-10-15 09:26
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An engineer of Sinoocean Offshore Assets Management Ltd, a China Chengtong unit, works at a drilling platform in the Persian Gulf. [Provided to China Daily]

China's State-owned companies and investment firms are key to playing a bigger role in driving the country's goal of peaking carbon emissions and achieving carbon neutrality, company executives and industry experts said.

These companies will also play a critical role in tapping green energy investment globally and encourage the development of clean energy, they said.

"For China, the world's largest developing country, peaking carbon emissions and achieving carbon neutrality not only needs strong determination, but also huge funds and large-scale applications of green and low-carbon technologies," said Bai Tao, chairman of the State Development and Investment Corp.

"State-owned investment firms can precisely leverage capital power to drive such goals, especially through giving full play to their leading role in linking production, research and development, and commercialization in the field related to carbon neutrality," he said.

Bai said firms can increase their investment in green and low-carbon technologies and actively seek more new opportunities in related industries so that sectors that will help drive the country's efforts in peaking carbon emissions and achieving carbon neutrality can grow faster and stronger.

"More steps should also be taken by investment firms to support the development of the carbon trading market system, especially in exploring businesses on carbon monitoring, carbon consulting, carbon trading and carbon finance," he said.

China is committed to peaking its carbon emissions by 2030 and attaining carbon neutrality by 2060. The country said at the recent Leaders' Summit of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, or COP 15, that the nation will readjust its industrial structure and energy mix, vigorously develop renewable energy and make faster progress in planning and developing large wind power and photovoltaic bases in sandy areas, rocky regions and deserts.

Zhu Jiwei, chairman of SDIC Power Holdings Co Ltd, the country's leading power generation company, said with the company's diversified portfolio of generating assets, it is well-positioned to meet China's growing energy needs to help bring hydropower from the country's west to its eastern coast.

He said the company has been beefing up efforts in exploring overseas projects that are related to clean energy like wind power. Through developing and managing offshore and onshore projects, the company is able to access leading international operation models and advanced technology to further explore renewable energy business opportunities globally.

SDIC Power acquired the Afton Onshore Wind Power Project from the United Kingdom, which enjoys a 19-year ROC (renewables obligation certificate) subsidy. It also acquired Red Rock Power Ltd, through which the Chinese group owned a 25 percent equity interest in Beatrice Offshore Wind Power Project in Scotland, which has an installed capacity of 588 megawatts and reached full commercial operation in July 2019.

"SDIC Power remains committed to its global growth strategy, through which we will increase our clean energy capacity and continue our international expansion. Outside China, we will target acquisitions and new projects where we see attractive opportunities, including in Asia and Europe," Zhu said.

The company also made investments in waste-to-energy power business in Southeast Asia. In 2019, the group invested in Newsky China, which operates waste-to-energy power projects in Bangkok and Thailand with a combined installed capacity of 79.8 MW.

Zhang Zhaogang, chairman of the China National Complete Plant Import & Export Group Corp Ltd, said the company has actively promoted the construction of environmental protection industry projects in economies that participated in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Its subsidiary company in Singapore has helped the Antwerp petrochemical base in Belgium in dealing with hazardous waste and Malaysian companies in coping with wastewater and gas, which demonstrated the company's leading technological prowess in solid and hazardous waste disposal, Zhang said.

"With the company's footprint expanding in more than 100 countries and regions, we can surely play a critical role in driving responsible investment related to reducing pollution and carbon emissions," Zhang said.

The Beijing-based company has also offered 300,000 sets of small solar power systems for over 1.5 million people from poor areas in Asia and Africa as part of a program by the World Bank to light up impoverished areas.

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