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Devastated city recovers 5 years after quake

Updated: 2013-05-13 16:52

CHENGDU - An industrial city that was hit hard by the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake is depending on the new energy industry to support its reconstruction.

The city of Deyang in Southwest China's Sichuan province suffered direct economic losses of 41.5 billion yuan ($6.7 billion) in an 8.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Wenchuan county on May 12, 2008. More than 17,000 of the city's residents died in the quake.

Devastated city recovers 5 years after quake

5th anniversary of Wenchuan earthquake 

Local authorities said reconstruction is being used as an opportunity to optimize the city's economic structure, with a focus on the new energy industry.

Currently, more than 60 percent of China's nuclear power equipment and 40 percent of its hydropower equipment is produced in Deyang. The city also manufactures 50 percent of the country's steel rolling equipment, the local government said.

Deyang was identified by the UN Industrial Development Organization in 2008 as an international pilot city for clean energy technology and new energy equipment manufacturing.

Local company Dongfang Turbine Co Ltd, a major manufacturer of power equipment, is diversifying its production and has seen rapid growth in production capacity.

"Reconstruction does not mean copying our past capability," said senior company official Xia Xiaoqiang. "Instead, we are upgrading and expanding our business from thermal power equipment to eight other industries, including nuclear, wind and solar power."

Jiang Shunlu, 29, suspended his studies in Germany after the quake and has been working as a wind power generator salesman at Dongfang Electrical Machinery Co Ltd.

"There are lots of opportunities for me to pursue my studies, but right now I need to do something for my hometown," Jiang said. "Deyang is walking out the shadow of the quake."

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