Chinese overseas projects keep forging ahead amid epidemic

By Li Jie, People’s Daily Overseas Edition
Chinese enterprises are now making all-out efforts to maintain production and construction overseas, so as to ensure the stability and unobstructed operation of global industrial and supply chains, and guarantee the smooth continuation of their overseas projects amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
As a vital link on the global supply and production chains, Chinese enterprises have contracted a significant number of overseas projects – 506 contracts with a value of over $100 million each were inked in 2019 alone.
A comprehensive plan of epidemic prevention was formulated by the project team of a China-constructed wind-power station in Zhanatas, Kazakhstan immediately after the onset of the epidemic. The project established an epidemic prevention group, and maintained close communication with the Chinese Embassy. The project team has never delayed its construction while strictly implementing prevention and control measures.
Some 130 employees work for this project constructed by Power Construction Corporation of China, and over half of them are Kazakhs. During the construction, local customs have been strictly followed. To keep to the construction schedule, the project worked non-stop during the Chinese Spring Festival in late January, and each task has been carried out in an orderly manner. All staff of the project are forging ahead in freezing weathers for an early operation of the plant.
In Pakistan, 896 constructors from China and 4,370 from local communities have also been keeping machines running at the construction site of the Karot Hydropower Plant during the Chinese New Year holiday, so as to ensure flood control in the high-water season and early impoundment.
As a priority project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Karot Hydropower Plant, upon completion, is expected to become a reliable source of energy for Pakistan’s economic and social development and generatee around 3.2 billion kilowatt-hours of clean electricity on an annual basis.
Peng Huagang, secretary-general of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, noted that China’s centrally-administered state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have a huge workforce of local and international employees for the overseas projects they contracted.
By leveraging local and third-party manpower, they have ensured reasonable allocation of resources and orderly implementation of projects in different countries, Peng added.
In the face of the current health crisis, overseas projects of Chinese enterprises have all taken actions to make sure that every employee is protected by their efforts of epidemic control and prevention. Meanwhile, they have also urged their employees to go through strict screenings and exams before heading to overseas project sites.
As early as Jan. 20, the coal-fired power plant project in Java, Indonesia operated by Guohua Power under China Energy Investment Corporation convened an emergency meeting on epidemic prevention and control.
It requested thorough disinfection and regular ventilation at offices, control rooms, staff quarter, cafeteria and the activity center, and adjusted the timetable of meal-serving to avoid cross-infection. Besides, it introduced strict regulation to reduce in-person meetings, recommending employees to conduct meetings online or over the phone as much as possible.
In order to ensure zero infection, the project has implemented strict regulation on the travel of staff. Those still in China are required to postpone their trips back to Indonesia, while no application for vacation or business trip to China will be approved until the official announcement of the end of the epidemic.
In addition, the plant is currently on closed-off management, under which all personnel must have their information and health conditions checked before entering and leaving the plant.
Facing suspended return trips of their Chinese colleagues, all of the Chinese employees of China Communications Construction Company Ltd. in Angola are playing multiple roles for the company’s port project in Caio.
Relying on telecommuting, they have also resorted to emergent recruitment and conducted training for Angolan colleagues, so as to get prepared for the upcoming full-speed construction.
Three companies under the China National Building Material Group Co., Ltd., namely Sinoma International Engineering Co., Ltd., China Triumph International Engineering Co., Ltd. and Sinoma Energy Conservation Limited have sealed 5 overseas contracts, including 3 of engineering and 2 of equipment supply.
Thanks to their scientific planning and reasonable arrangements, the 3 companies have well ensured construction progress of more than 110 projects of cement, glass, photovoltaic engineering, and energy conservation, many of which have been completed.
The above is just an epitome of the stable operation and orderly progress of Chinese overseas projects. It demonstrates the sense of responsibility of the Chinese enterprises, raising the morale for speedy resumption of work.

A maintainer at the coal-fired power plant in Java, Indonesia operated by Guohua Power under China Energy Investment Corporation checks the coal handling system. (Photo courtesy of Guohua Power)

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