Chinese power plant in harmony with Dolphin Bay on Belt and Road

(By Xinhua)

Updated: 2017-05-12 11:24:35

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JAKARTA - The surface of the sea was quiet and smooth at sunrise with boats in the water embracing a golden sunshine which glowed against the background of the dark coast, as masses of clouds floated over the mountains.

The scene was so beautiful that many tourists took photos as they enjoyed the serenity of nature.

Suddenly, someone shouted "Dolphins!" In the direction of the tour guide's hand, several dolphins jumped out of the water and dived back in again, reflecting the sunshine as they did like golden angels of the sea.

This scenic spot aptly named "Dolphin Bay" is located in the northwest of Bali Island which is one of the most well-known resorts in the world. Nowadays, "Dolphin Bay" and Bali attract a great number of tourists who come to enjoy the sight of hundreds of dolphins cruising along in the water.

But tourism here did not really start booming until a power plant emerged in 2015.

This coal-fired power plant was funded, constructed and operated by the Chinese enterprise China Huadian Corporation (CHD).

According to some local residents, Dolphin Bay was also famous at that time, but there were only a few tourists visiting there for sightseeing.

The World Economic Forum's Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017 concluded that Indonesian tourism fell behind Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand in the region.

The report suggested that Indonesia should continually promote the development of its tourism infrastructure including connectivity between regions and supply of hotel rooms.

Liu Ruigao, a local ethnic Chinese man familiar with the region, told Xinhua that Bali's tourism had been held back by its poor transportation system and electric shortage for a long time.

Due to the benefits of CHD's power plant, local tourism has become far more prosperous. A lot of hotels have been built and are now operating and many local inhabitants open their residences for "home-stays" and decorate their houses for their guests.

According to the data provided by CHD, the plant has generated more than 5.2 billion kilowatt hours of power since its operation in 2015, accounting for 40 percent of Bali's total power supply.

Bali's service industry has been rapidly improved thanks to the abundant supply of electric power. However, during its construction, there were some doubts about the plant and some people were worried about its pollution.

It is usually a challenge to build and run a coal-fired power plant in a world-class tourist destination, but the operation and management of the plant has proved successful, which has not only eliminated the doubts, but won the praise from local people and partners.

Shen Yushan, general manager of the Bali division of CHD, told Xinhua that the plant's operation has been running safely and steadily, and the level of energy efficiency and environmental indicators are far beyond Indonesia's state standard. The emission of sulfur dioxide, hydroxide and dust is close to zero, and industrial and domestic water discharge is strictly handled.

"The plant emits no pollution that could damage the local ecosystem or environment," Shen said.

As for pollution, people also can get their answer from the "Dolphin Bay" nearby the plant.

A local resident said that since the operation of the power plant, the number of dolphins there had not decreased, but the tourists had increased quickly.

"I think the dolphins are bothered by the tourists but not the plant," the local resident said.

Wang Qingdong, general manager of production of General Energy Bali (GEB), established for managing the power plant by CHD, told Xinhua that GEB applied the most advanced environmental technology which has no negative effects on the surrounding environment.

He said the emission data of the plant is sent to the local environmental protection bureau each month, and GEB invites a third party to examine the surrounding air and water every half a year.

Sang Xuefeng, a Chinese staff working in the power plant, told Xinhua that when walking along the coast near the plant, he often see groups of dolphins chasing fish.

"It's wonderful, If my wife and child could see these dolphins, they must be very happy," Sang said with a smile, adding that his wife and young child live in their hometown in China's Shandong province.

Sang said he was satisfied with his work and life in Bali, adding that he has good relations with his Indonesian colleagues.

"They are very friendly and enthusiastic, we can exchange ideas in English simply, and understand each other very well," Sang said.

Lalu, an Indonesian employee, said he enjoyed his work and life here, because GEB provided good opportunities for him to learn new skills.

According to GEB, a total of 374 employees work in the plant, including 160 Chinese and 214 Indonesian workers. Shen Yushan said that Chinese and Indonesian employees get along with each other harmoniously.

"GEB will increase the number of Indonesian employees gradually in the future," Shen added.

Sigit Tejo Putranto, a staff working in the Bali branch of Indonesian State Power company, told Xinhua that GEB was the best power plant he had visited. He said that GEB has contributed so much to Bali's electric industry and economic development.

"It also has a good local image," Putranto added.

So far, GEB has donated a school and a mosque to local communities. It also supports and helps local region in holding ceremonies or anniversaries, winning local praise and building a positive image in the community.

Overseas investment expert Shi Xin also made positive remarks about GEB's performance, saying the overseas image of Chinese enterprises has become more and more positive in recent years.

"The Belt and Road Initiative is a historic opportunity for overseas Chinese companies to shape their new images," Shi added.