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Local, German firms in pact for power projects

By Ren Xiaojin in Xi'an | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-23 07:01

Xi'an-based Northwest Electric Power Design Institute Co Ltd, a subsidiary of China Power Engineering Consulting Group, has signed a framework agreement with Fichtner GmBH Co of Germany to develop overseas projects.

NWEPDI is a design, engineering and consultancy firm that provides turnkey solutions to the thermal and nuclear power generation, transmission and distribution sectors.

Fichtner is an independent German firm of consulting engineers specializing in central utilities infrastructure.

Qiao Xiangfei, senior engineer of NWEPDI, said: "Since our company is located in interior Northwest China, we haven't received many opportunities from the domestic market since the 1980s. So, we've focused on overseas markets. We are working with European companies as part of our go-global strategy."

Qiao made the remarks at the 2017 Euro-Asia Economic Forum at Xi'an on Friday.

"The European market is relatively small with very limited demand for infrastructure and energy. Thus, European companies are also eager to expand to foreign countries," Qiao said.

"It gives us common ground for cooperation, as they are better at consulting and we can do the design and construction part.

"Our company's next growth point will mainly lay in these countries and regions, including Morocco, South Africa, southern Australia and the Middle East."

Last year, NWEPDI bagged a contract from Vietnam's Hai Duong Thermal Power Plant to design its project. Fichtner carried out the consulting work for the same project.

"In terms of new power plant projects, we need to cooperate with other countries. We can't simply sell our products abroad alone," Qiao said. "For us, that is the point of the Belt and Road Initiative. We need to encourage the entire industrial chain to go abroad, from consulting, designing, construction to equipment manufacturing."

Agreed Wang Ke, associate professor of Xi'an Shiyou University. He told the forum: "In global cooperation for creation of new capacity, Chinese companies will see more opportunities from developing countries. Working with their peers in the industry will give them better insights and support in going global."

This trend has been already witnessed in industries other than energy and infrastructure, experts said.

Walter Schwimmer, former secretary-general of the European Commission, said small and medium-sized enterprises or SMEs in Austria and China have much to gain by way of cooperation.

"A large part of Austria's economy is contributed by SMEs, while China also has a growing number of SMEs," Schwimmer said. "SMEs from both sides are looking for better opportunities abroad whether in trade, science or high-tech."

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