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China energy expo attracts worldwide attention

Source:   Time:

TAIYUAN, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Over the last three days, companies and government officials from China and abroad have converged in Taiyuan, the capitial of coal-rich Shanxi Province, to share ideas and expand business in the country's new energy sector amid energy and environmental concerns.

The three-day China (Taiyuan) International Energy Industry Expo, which concluded Saturday, attracted 627 enterprises and government delegations from 18 countries and regions, including GE, ABB, Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

They exhibited their technologies, products, and looked for cooperation in the areas of coal and coal-bed methane, power generation and transmission, petroleum and natural gas, together with new energy and renewable sources.

Among them were 17 coal machine manufacturers from Nordrhein-Westfalen of Germany.

Klaus Stockmann, deputy director of the VDMA (German Engineering Federation) Mining Equipment Association, said China had replaced the United States as the second largest export destination of Germany-made mining machinery in 2009 with a value of 233 million euros, only after Russia with 274 million euros.

"We have noticed that China is stepping up consolidation of coal enterprises, which is an opportunity for us," Klaus Stockman said, adding he expected stronger business in China.

The growing market of China's coal machinery has also prompted some VDMA members to plan factories in China, as they said exports could no longer meet China's market demand.

Maschinenfabrik HESE, one of the leading manufacturers of bulk conveying technology, has seen rising sales since its products' entry into the Chinese market five years ago. Specific figures were not provided.

Ulrich Goddinger, the company's chief representative in China, said the company would seek a partner in China in a year. Companies in Shanxi and Inner Mongolia would be on the top of the list because they are close to material and sales market, he added.

China National Offshore Oil Corporation, China Resources (Holding) Ltd., Co. China Power Investment Corporation, and China Datang Corporation signed with the Shanxi provincial government on several key projects during the expo.

The state-owned enterprises will invest more than 450 billion yuan (66.9 billion U.S. dollars) in Shanxi during the next five years -- in wind power, electric power, biomass energy, clean utilization of coal, coal-bed methane and coal-to-gas projects, among others.

CNOOC, China's third largest oil company and biggest offshore energy explorer, plans to develop its inland business. The company will invest up to 100 billion yuan in the next five years in Shanxi mainly in coal gasification.

"The company's move to develop clean energy inland was in line with the government's efforts to accelerate economic restructuring and Shanxi needs clean energy for its own restructuring," CNOOC general manager Fu Chengyu said.

He said China should be more energy efficient. "That's why CNOOC looks to inland energy development," he said, adding the company expected to expand its wind power and solar power business.

China has large deposits of coal, which feeds about 70 percent of the country's total energy needs. However, the massive burning of coal has caused severe pollution, putting great pressure on China to cut fossil fuel emissions.

Last year the government vowed to cut the intensity of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP in 2020 by 40 to 45 percent, compared with the 2005 level.

China also announced earlier, in its 11th Five-year Plan (2006-2010), that it would reduce energy consumption relative to GDP by 20 percent in five years to 2010.

The targets have pushed China to race with developed nations to develop clean use of coal and new energy sources.

According to the government plan, the country would generate at least 15 percent of its energy capacity from wind, solar and other renewable energy sources by 2020, reducing fossil fuel consumption to 85 percent.

The Ministry of Science and Technology said China has allocated more than 10 billion yuan for the research and development of energy conservation and emissions reduction technologies during the 11th Five-year Plan.

China will invest 5 trillion yuan into renewable energy projects over the next decade under an industry development plan, China Securities Journal reported in early August, citing the State Information Center.

Vice Minister of Science and Technology Li Xueyong said the ministry is planning research work on a development strategy for the next five years and new energy industries will be a focal point. There will also be increased support of technology research and development.

To seek an energy-efficient and environment-friendly path for economic growth was a "pressing" task for the country, Gao Hucheng, Vice Minister of Commerce, said.

The new energy sector in China has developed rapidly due to the government's push, but China still faces difficulties in making clean technology commercial, said experts.

Xi Wenhua, Director of the UNIDO solar technology center, said China could cooperate with other nations on technology in the areas of renewable energy and new energy to lift the development of such energies to cope with climate change together.

He suggested that China should introduce more top technology to the world to develop renewable energies and new energies, which are in urgent need. Channels for technology imports from developed nations should be expanded, he said.

"There is no land boundary in terms of low-carbon and green technology," Gao said, expecting more international cooperation in this field.

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