Energy company Longyuan providing more than just power to Northern Cape communities
The interventions outlined in the Economic Recovery Plan are meant to achieve sufficient, secure, and reliable energy supply within two years. President Ramaphosa addressed the parliament about this plan in October.
Longyuan South Africa Renewables, a subsidiary of China Longyuan and China Energy, which is world’s largest wind power developer, has recently issued and published its first corporate social responsibility report in South Africa, with contents: China Energy in South Africa, management of sustainable development goals, our pace of green electricity in the decade, China constructed the dream of South Africa, responsibility-sharing, win-win cooperation, etc.
Longyuan South Africa Renewables develops and operates De Aar Wind Power Projects, providing clean energy, and making positive contributions in responding to the South African government’s energy conservation and emission reduction and fulfilling the obligations outlined in the “Paris Agreement”.
Longyuan De Aar Wind Power Projects are the first wind power projects being invested in, constructed, and operated by a Chinese state-owned power enterprise in Africa. The projects, totalling 244.45MW, are located 25 km southwest and 75 km northeast of De Aar Town in Northern Cape Province of South Africa, with a total investment of about ZAR 5 billion, and Longyuan De Aar II project is the largest operational wind project in South Africa.
The projects can supply 760 million kWh of clean electricity every year, resulting in the saving of 215,800 tons of standard coal and reducing 619,900 tons of carbon dioxide emission, satisfying the power demand of 300,000 households, therefore making positive contributions to the local energy structure adjustment and clean and low-carbon development.
Building green quality projects with high standards
South Africa implements strict environmental protection standards. Take the environmental impact assessment (EIA) as an example. A comprehensive biodiversity study needs to be carried out before construction. During this period, the Department of Environmental Affairs shall track and record at any time. If it is found that the construction has an impact on any particular species, the project shall be stopped immediately.
The huge workload of the De Aar Wind Power Projects can be seen from the following data: 57,000 m3 of concrete casting, 7,100 tons of reinforcement materials, 150 km of internal roads, 170 km of internal transmission lines, more than 1,600 vehicle-times of large cargo transportation, and 800,000 km of total transportation distance. Even so, the De Aar projects were completed earlier than expected.
With confidence and great expectations, China Longyuan came to Cape Town, South Africa, the southernmost city in Africa, bringing advanced technology and clean energy, and portraying common expectations.
The Chinese employees’ excellent quality of diligence and hard work has also won the respect of local stakeholders. The local partners told the media that the project was completed earlier than expected, which was a miracle of construction in South Africa, especially with the 100% persistence, perseverance, and commitment of the Longyuan team.
“They have amazing abilities to solve problems and overcome challenges”.
The construction contractors of the project are all local companies. Local employees are designated for civil and electrical work, wind turbine installation services, technical and legal consulting services, labour and senior management, improving the localization rate of employees.
The company complies with the unique BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) requirements and spent ZAR 15 million annually on ED /SED related expenses to revitalize the black economy.
The company has also actively participated in industry associations, carried out green power technology exchange, and fully integrated into the local industry and market environment to learn advanced practices and development experiences of wind power industries in different countries as well as to realize the overall value improvement of the project.
Establishing a harmonious employment relationship
Based on establishing a harmonious employment relationship, Longyuan South Africa has formulated rules and regulations and labour contracts in line with local enterprise norms, to achieve this goal.
Also, through the implementation of various long-term social welfare activities and project operation, they have created a large number of jobs and promoted the employment of poor people in South Africa, especially the residents in the local community.
During the construction phase, more than 700 jobs were created; more than 100 long-term jobs are given each year during the operational period.
They have also paid attention to the development and training of employees’ skills, smoothed the staff promotion channel, provided the employees of South Africa with training in undergraduate and postgraduate education, high-voltage operation certificates, aerial work and first aid; employed a professional human resources consulting company to formulate training reports, training plans and employment equity programs for the company; established an employment equity commission composed of South African employees, and regularly submitted reports on training and employment equity to local authorities.
Supporting the local community in every aspect
During the two decades of the project operation, Longyuan South Africa has committed to contribute R15 million every year to culture, education, medical and health care, skills training and other public welfare undertakings in the community, where the project is located, to promote the healthy development of the local economy and improve the well-being of the local community.
Access to high-quality education is the basis for improving people’s livelihood and achieving sustainable development. Longyuan South Africa has attached importance to improving the living quality of students, actively aiding in education scholarships, teacher training, school construction and improvement of school water and power facilities, with promoted students receiving inclusive education and master self-improvement abilities.
Longyuan South Africa visited local schools and donated R1 million to 10 local community schools to help education development in 2017; Longyuan provided R4 million annual assistance to 40 outstanding university students in the Northern Cape Province, covering all tuition fees, accommodation fees and daily living expenses during their education; Longyuan founded four early education centres for children, spending about R2 million per year, conducted early education for local children especially those who were poor or with psychological and physical disabilities which in turn has benefited about 320 local children, and brought employment to 38 residents.
Longyuan South Africa has invested nearly R4 million in the purchasing of a professional medical bus and implemented a free medical project for the elderly, women, children and other groups in the communities since January 2020.
They will also invest an additional R5 million every year to support the daily operation of the medical bus, to provide free medical services for 25 000 local students as well as poor special groups, with the hope of improving their health.
After the outbreak of Covid-19, Longyuan South Africa allocated the medical bus, medical equipment and all the company-funded medical staff to the local health department free of charge for community epidemic screening work, greatly complementing the government’s testing power. By the end of November, more than 30 000 people had been tested. By the end of May 2020, Longyuan South Africa had contributed R3.48 million to governments at all levels, health departments, hospitals and communities in South Africa, to fight against Covid-19.
The Municipal Sports Stadium is in disrepair because of lack of funds. Since early 2020, Longyuan South Africa invested about ZAR 6 million to renovate and reconstruct the local stadium, which has been highly praised by local municipal authorities and football clubs, adding high quality and standard football field, as well as 4 brand new netball fields.
In addition, the company is planning to support the local municipal government for renovation of water projects, and improve the quality of drinking water for community residents, with a budget of more than R5 million.
As a non-profit organization, the old-aged home is struggling to operate due to lack of government fund. The company immediately contacted the operator and expressed its desire for active funding.
In April 2020, the company officially approved the scheme of funding two local old-aged homes, with an annual cost budget of more than ZAR 1 million. During the winter, they also added two quilts for each of the 90 elderly people, and purchased oxygen machine for them.
Deeply concerned about the healthy growth of children, the company contacted Cape Town Red Cross Children’s Hospital and SOS International Children’s Village in South Africa for the donation of R150 000 to purchase corresponding protective supplies and daily necessities.
Promoting cultural prosperity and safety operation
On May 7, 2020, the South African Finals of the 19th “Chinese Bridge” World University Students’ Chinese Competition sponsored by Longyuan South Africa and the Chinese Competition of “Longyuan Mulilo Cup • Chinese Bridge” were successfully concluded.
The event, where undergraduates from South African universities tell the story of China, has strengthened cultural exchanges between the two countries. It has provided an opportunity and platform for the exchange and study of students from South Africa and China and continuously promoted the in-depth exchanges in education, culture and economy, which is highly praised by the head of the International Department of Higher Education of South Africa.
The company actively integrate into the community by sponsoring sports games and group activities. Since 2018, they have sponsored sports games in Emthanjeni Municipality where the project is located and provided medals, trophies, and other items for the games every year, which is praised by the local governments.
The company stuck to low-carbon development, improved energy efficiency, protected ecological environment, actively responds to climate change, and strives to be a contributor to the construction of a beautiful South Africa.
Since its establishment, Longyuan South Africa has made full use of its professional advantages in the wind power industry, adhered to the legal and compliance operation, controlled, and prevented various risks, and completed the preliminary development and construction operation of the project with high quality.
During the operation of the project, Longyuan has further promoted the “equipment maintenance year” action, carried out lightning protection, bird prevention transformation of the on-site electric circuit and security transformation of the box transformer, to improve the health level of the equipment. In 2019, the equivalent utilization hour exceeded 3,204 hours, and the company ranked the first within Longyuan Group, realizing safety production for 792 consecutive days.
Just as the management of Longyuan South Africa said, they will continue to uphold the principles of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith, and the correct concept of righteousness and interests, turn the traditional friendly advantages of China and South Africa into a driving force for cooperation and development, realize mutual benefit and win-win development, and contribute clean energy to the Rainbow Nation;
Longyuan will continue to respect the diversity of world civilizations, promote mutual respect and harmonious coexistence of different civilizations, provide spiritual support and psychological comfort for people, and contribute to the prosperity and development of South Africa’s society.
Longyuan will continue to work with South Africa to advocate green, low-carbon, and sustainable development, strengthening exchanges and cooperation with South Africa in the field of ecological and environmental protection, and protect this beautiful world.