Chinese companies take to the road

CHINA: Chinese companies are showing increasing interest in the wind industry in the "Belt and Road" countries, with more turbines sold to that area and more engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts signed.

In 2015, Goldwind won contracts for four wind projects in Pakistan totalling more than 270MW
In 2015, Goldwind won contracts for four wind projects in Pakistan totalling more than 270MW

China's "Belt and Road" initiative covers countries in south and south-east Asia, central and west Asia, the Middle East, Africa and parts of central and eastern Europe.

"Countries along the Belt and Road have dynamic economic activities and high demand for energy. Meanwhile, some of them have good policies for power development," said Li Sisheng, general manager of the new energy division of PowerChina International Group.

PowerChina has conducted a number of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) projects in the area, including four projects in Pakistan with a total installed capacity of 182MW, a 24MW project in Vietnam and a 60MW project in Thailand.

Li said power investment is one of the industries with relatively stable returns in Pakistan due to the government's favourable policies aimed at attracting investors as the country suffers from power shortages.

This year, the Pakistan government set up a special fund to guarantee Chinese companies receive the full power tariffs, even if some users fail to pay electricity bills, which is a chronic problem in the country.

Goldwind expansion

Pakistan is also a key overseas market for Goldwind, China's leading wind turbine manufacturer, said Ma Xiaohui, director of Goldwind International's marketing department.

In 2015, Goldwind International won supply contracts for four wind projects in Pakistan with a total installed capacity of more than 270MW.

By the end of 2018, Goldwind's total installed capacity in Pakistan will exceed 400MW, accounting for one third of the country's capacity, the company said.

The overseas efforts in Pakistan show Chinese companies' increasing interests in foreign markets.

China has the biggest installed wind capacity in the world and the market is still growing rapidly. Last year, the country added a record high of 30.75 GW, accounting for almost half of the global market, according to figures from the Chinese Wind Energy Association.

By the end of last year, Chinese wind turbines had been exported to 28 foreign markets, with a total capacity of 2.04GW. China's biggest overseas market was the US, followed by Panama and Ethiopia.

When tapping overseas markets, Chinese companies conducted businesses mainly in three forms: turbine sales, providing EPC services and acquiring wind assets.

Belt and Road initiative

The Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road proposed by China in 2013, aiming to revive ancient trade routes linking more than 60 countries between Asia and Europe.

In its next steps, Li said PowerChina International is targeting India, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and the Philippines.

Ma said key markets in the region for Goldwind include Egypt and Thailand.

Goldwind seeks to cooperate more with financial institutions in the area, including the International Finance Corporation, the Silk Road Fund and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, to strengthen its financial muscle and enhance its competitiveness in the international cooperation.

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