China / News

Equipment manufacturing industry set to boom

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-05-29 10:32

A Zhuhai company recently finished production of underwater engineering equipment and delivered it to international energy giant Chevron Corp.

The equipment will be used in deep-sea natural gas exploitation in Western Australia, which is the key part of Chevron’s Wheatstone LNG global project.

Industrial insiders consider the cooperation between Chevron and Zhuhai Jutal Offshore Oil Services Ltd a success since Zhuhai started building a modern industrial system in 2012, with advanced manufacturing, high-end services, high-tech industries, marine economy and agriculture at its core.

Zhuhai in South China’s Guangdong province is home to one of the first four special economic zones in China and will be the only mainland city that provides a land route to both Hong Kong and Macao by late 2016, when the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge is due to be completed.

Development of local advanced equipment manufacturing has been a focus in the past couple of years and Zhuhai has attracted several capital- and technology-intensive projects funded by renowned companies including Ferretti Group, MTU Maintenance, Wartsila, ABB, Zoomlion and China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co.

Statistics from the Zhuhai Bureau of Commerce show that the city signed 51 contracts for advanced equipment manufacturing in 2014, with a total investment of 60 billion yuan ($9.7 billion).

Liu Qiying, head of the bureau, said the city’s advanced equipment manufacturing industry is on the fast track.

“This year Zhuhai will increase efforts to attract more investment from countries and regions with developed manufacturing industries across the world,” he said.

Last year, the city government launched a development plan for the industry from 2015 to 2025. According to the plan, the output value of the city’s equipment manufacturing industry will reach 190 billion yuan this year and 300 billion yuan in 2017.

In 2020, the output value is expected to exceed 500 billion yuan and Zhuhai will boast a world-class offshore engineering equipment manufacturing base, a national general aviation production base and an intelligent equipment manufacturing base.

Experts said Zhuhai’s plan for modern industries is foward-looking as it is in line with the city’s positioning as “a special zone for eco-friendly growth and a model city for scientific development”, and in accordance with the nation’s Belt and Road Initiative and Made in China 2025 strategy.

Alberto Galassi, CEO of Italian multinational shipbuilding company Ferretti Group, said he was confident about Zhuhai’s future economy and the local yacht market.

He said the Pearl River Delta, where Zhuhai is located, could be a yachting hub like the Mediterranean and Caribbean regions. Zhuhai is an attractive and livable coastal city and Ferretti attaches great importance to its cooperation with the city, Galassi said.

“Now is a good time to develop marine engineering,” said Tian Mingjie, general manager of CNOOC Offshore Oil Engineering (Zhuhai) Co.

Tian said Zhuhai has a geographic advantage, as it is adjacent to the South China Sea, one of the most important areas for deep-sea oil and gas development.

He said the city’s continuously improving marine engineering equipment manufacturing industry is an attraction for talented professionals.

Enlarged trade and cooperation with foreign countries and regions will help Zhuhai become more competitive in terms of technology, innovation and human resources, he added.

Wang Jianjun, executive vice-dean of China Machinery Industry Information Research Institute, said Zhuhai has policy advantages in developing its manufacturing industry.

The city’s Hengqin area, which is a part of the Guangdong Pilot Free Trade Zone established in April, could provide more preferential policies for companies in the industry, Wang said.


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