Ports will help bring new tide of prosperity

Updated: 2012-12-11 09:01

By Wang Hao, Du Juan and Pei Pei (China Daily)

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Circular economy

In industrial development, the environment and energy-reduction are always eye-catching factors, and become a problem for local authorities.

"For Caofeidian, one of the first operations in China's national circular economy demonstration area, economic growth and environmental protection are equally important," said Yang.

Ports will help bring new tide of prosperity

Caofeidian is being developed into one of China's largest ports. [Photo by Zou Hong / China Daily]

The key concept, the circular economy, focuses on the use of "waste" from one facility's manufacturing process, including energy and water, as input material for another facility. The idea is to realize a collective benefit larger than the sum of the individual benefits.

Yang said the theory behind Caofeidian's circular economy is that the concept is applied across a range of industries.

Shougang United Iron and Steel Co, a company with annual crude steel production capacity of 9.7 million tons, is a prime example of how the process works: "We use the coal gas, which is the waste from the steel-making process, for our power plants during electricity generation," said Yang Chunzheng, Shougang United's deputy general manager. "Then, the electricity can be used back in the steel mills."

Despite its huge appetite for electricity, the company not only generates 98 percent of its own power, but it can even offer some to the national grid on occasion, according to Yang.

"Meanwhile, seawater is used for once-through cooling in power plants and is then reused in the steel-making process after being desalinated.

"The steel slag will be delivered to cement plants or construction sites for use as a raw material."

In addition to the circular economy, the company spent 7 billion yuan, roughly 11 percent of its total investment, on environmental protection between 2007 and 2011, he said.

Wang Shuzhong, deputy head of the energy department, said,"You will not smell anything weird or notice any irritants in our factory."

Steel-related businesses, such as automobile manufacturers, are now opening factories in the district to reduce logistics costs.

In fact, Shougang will increase its output of steel sheets for automobile use in the next year as it follows the trend. "Our output of automobile-use steel products will increase by more than 60 percent to 500,000 tons in 2013," said Yang.

Optimistic outlook

Meanwhile, Huanghua port, China's second-largest coal exporting port, is located in Cangzhou city, 200 km from Beijing.

Ports will help bring new tide of prosperity

Huanghua Port in Cangzhou. [Photo by Zou Hong / China Daily]

Despite the downturn in global trade, the port still achieved turnover volume of 115 million tons in the first 10 months of 2012 and it is expected to reach 118 million tons for the whole year, said Zhao Zhenqing, director of the Cangzhou Bohai New Economic Development Bureau.

"The port's economy is heavily reliant on international trade, therefore the European debt crisis and China's economic slowdown have made this a really tough year," he said.