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Zonergy Builds 900MW PV Project in Pakistan

Published on 8 Nov 2021
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The release of the "One Belt One Road" story series "Common Dream" compiled by the Ministry of Commerce has aroused widespread attention and resonance from domestic and foreign media and readers. This series of books tells the true story of the joint construction of the "Belt and Road" through in-depth research and organization of Chinese and foreign experts, and demonstrates the tremendous changes brought about by the "Belt and Road" cooperation projects. Chapter 17 of the book is titled "Green Photovoltaics Illuminate the Land of Punjab", which details Zonergy's construction of green photovoltaics in Pakistan and its positive contributions to local social and economic development. The full text is now reproduced below for readers.

This is the Christian Desert - A large piece of green grass grows in the desert where there is no grass, do you believe it? Isaac, who has lived here for generations, absolutely does not believe: "How is this possible? There is yellow sand besides yellow sand, how can grass grow? There is still so much!"

When Isaac saw the picture on the phone of his Chinese colleague Yang Shuai who had just returned to the office, he was completely stunned.

The Christian Desert, located on the outskirts of Bahawal, Punjab, Pakistan, has been off the beaten track since ancient times. There are only endless scorching sun scorching the bare yellow sand, as if it is another planet without human inhabitation.

The desert grows green grass, which is surprising. What surprised Isaac and his compatriots more than this is that this desert has become their source of light! Zonergy Pakistan's 900 MW photovoltaic power station has officially started. After the project is completed, it can provide nearly 1.3 billion kWh of clean electricity each year, which can effectively alleviate local power difficulties and create more miracles for local economic development and improvement of people's livelihood.

Punjab is the most developed industrial and agricultural province in Pakistan, with a population of more than 100 million. It has always been in short supply of electricity. Power outages are commonplace, and the situation in remote rural areas is even worse. The power supply is only three or four hours during the day, which seriously affects people's lives and restricts economic development.

"In the summer, there used to be a 12-hour power outage every day, which seriously affected work and life during the day. I couldn't escape at night. I was often woken up at two or three in the middle of the night. The electrical appliances I bought were finally turned into decorations, and candles almost became home. The 28-year-old Jahan Zaib Salim heard about the recruitment of local employees for the Zonergy Punjab Optoelectronics Project and immediately signed up. "The days of frequent power outages make people feel discouraged."

Many Pakistanis are like Jahan Zaib who are troubled by electricity difficulties. However, coal resources are in short supply and the cost of imported resources is very high. What is the way to really solve the problem of difficult electricity use?Engage in photovoltaic power generation!

China Zonergy Technology Co., Ltd. combined with Pakistan's actual situation and gave a practical solution. The builders' eyes turned to the desolate land of the Christian Desert

Although it is not suitable for human habitation, it has the ideal conditions for photovoltaic power generation: the local area has 3,000 hours of sunshine throughout the year, which is one of the areas with the highest solar radiation in the world, and photovoltaic power generation is an ideal choice. Moreover, compared with the construction of thermal power plants, although thermal power plants have a larger power supply, the construction period of photovoltaic power plants is much shorter, which can solve part of the electricity demand at the fastest speed.

Now, the first phase of the 300 MW Zonergy photovoltaic power station has been connected to the grid for more than three years. As of June 2019, the cumulative power generation was about 1.56 billion kWh, meeting the electricity demand of about 280,000 local households. The daily power outage has been shortened to one or two hours, alleviating the local power shortage. Moreover, compared with traditional thermal power generation, photovoltaic power plants can reduce coal consumption by nearly 170,000 tons and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 400,000 tons.

For the sustainable development of local resources and the environment, the Pakistani government vigorously advocates green awareness and plans to gradually increase the proportion of green energy power generation in the future. Zonergy photovoltaic power station has become Pakistan's pioneer in developing solar power generation, and has important demonstration significance for Pakistan's future development of green energy power generation.

Jahan Zaib is now a squad leader and patrols the power station every day. Seeing the rows of photovoltaic panels standing proudly, he will involuntarily feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. "The dawn is in the near future, and the day of uninterrupted power is just around the corner. I think my work is particularly meaningful." He said: "When the third phase of the 900 MW photovoltaic power station is completed, the day of uninterrupted power supply will come."

It is not easy to build a photovoltaic power station in the desert. Just the word "sun" has caused the builders of the power station to suffer.

In June, the temperature in the desert reached 50°C. Not to mention construction, it is difficult to support it just by standing still. In the sultry desert like an endless steamer, people fall from heatstroke every day.

In the early stage of construction, there was no water, roads, or electricity. Everyone could only sleep in a container, cold in winter and hot in summer, just like lying directly in the wasteland.

The piling foundation in the photovoltaic area is the largest part of the project, and drilling is the first step in piling. If the piling cannot keep up with the progress, all subsequent works will be delayed. However, the Chinese builders never expected that Pakistan could only find a team of mechanical drilling machines across the country and could not deliver the work on time.

How to do? The construction period is tight, and we can only mobilize everyone to show their magical powers, and various "earthly methods" are emerging one after another.

During that time, the construction site was so lively. All kinds of drilling methods seem to let people see a complete history of the development of drilling technology. In addition to some workers operating conventional large-scale mechanical drilling machines, there are also 20 workers holding small drilling machines, 50 teams of manual digging holes, and even more surprisingly, there are also workers driving tractors that are modified. Imitation drilling machine". They used various equipment, various speeds and various strengths and different frequencies to jointly lay large and small piles. Booming, ding-dangling, this "percussion band" that assembled all kinds of drilling equipment from Pakistan, staged a high-speed and high-level "concert" in the sweltering summer.

A more spectacular scene is the scene where hundreds of construction teams put cables together.

The cables are thick and heavy, several kilometers long, and need to be pulled off the rollers and put into the cable trench. Due to lack of equipment, it can only be done by manpower. The vast queue of hundreds of people has completed the task neatly and uniformly. "One! Two! One! Two!" The tidy shouts echoed in the empty desert, so harmonious and unified, full of power.

More than 500 Chinese technicians and nearly 3,000 Pakistani workers participated in the construction of the first phase of the 300 MW project. They worked together to fight the rainy season, the scorching heat, the wind and sand, and the technical problems, and the project construction was advanced with high standards.

Faced with numerous challenges, colleagues from China and Pakistan have become close partners sharing weal and woe.

During construction, the local technicians and construction personnel in Pakistan are learning by doing in the project, and they have grown up quickly, and some of them can even be on their own. After the power station is connected to the grid for power generation, engineers from China and Pakistan will jointly undertake daily operation and maintenance work, of which 80% are Pakistani engineers.

"The high temperature of up to 50°C in summer, the ubiquitous mosquito bites, and the miss of relatives far away all torture us, but everyone is sticking to it, only for the early completion of the project to generate electricity." said Yang Shuai, a post-Zonergy civil engineering engineer.

The Zonergy Pakistan photovoltaic power plant not only makes the Pakistani people "bright and accessible", it also illuminates the communication and cooperation between different regional civilizations, and the complete integration of the wisdom and culture of the employees of the two countries.

"The days of sleeping in a container, although the conditions are simple, but seeing photovoltaic panels all over the floor, I think it is worth it! When I told my friends that I participated in the construction of photovoltaic power plants, it was quite proud!" Sitting in the office Zadran, a Pakistani employee during the lunch break, happily patted the Chinese brother Wang Yixin who was sitting on the sidelines.

"If your brothers are envious, you can come to our second phase to apply for a try. The second phase will start soon, and a lot of people will be needed." Wang Yixin's words made the other Pakistani colleagues in the dormitory laugh.

As the sun sets, the clouds in the sky reflect the afterglow of the sunset, reflecting the entire sky red. On the vast ground, a white mosque was also covered with a crimson coat, standing quietly, peaceful and beautiful.

Countless photovoltaic panels are placed around the mosque, and the snow-white dome in a blue sky is particularly dazzling.

"Thanks to the photovoltaic power station for keeping us the mosque! And it is more beautiful than the previous mosque!" Speaking of this refurbished mosque, the power station duty director was excited, and the local people on the side agreed with it.

It turned out that as early as when the project started, the construction team of the photovoltaic power station discovered that there was a mosque in the project area. Whether to stay or demolish it became a problem. Although the owner clearly informed the construction team that it could be removed, and the local people did not say that the mosque must be kept, but taking into account the local religious habits, Zonergy revised the project plan and finally retained the mosque.

Not only that, Zonergy has also meticulously renovated the walls and roof of the mosque, and also repaired wells so that local employees and even the surrounding villagers can come and pray easily.

For those staff who cannot come to the mosque to pray during working hours, the power station has also set up independent prayer rooms in each booster station. At the end of get off work every day, the sound of prayer will be heard on the radio, reminding the believers that it is time for the prayers. Some employees and nearby residents will also go together in twos and threes and walk in the direction of the mosque.

During Ramadan, local workers do not eat or drink water during the day, and it is difficult for them to continue their work. Chinese workers try to do as much work as possible.

On major festivals such as Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, local employees will receive the gifts and festival fees carefully prepared by the company, participate in the company-organized dinner activities, and enjoy paid holidays. The Chinese station masters will replace those local colleagues who are going to participate in collective activities, and will be on duty at 5 a.m. to ensure the normal operation of the power station.

"I am very grateful to these Chinese colleagues of mine. They respect our cultural customs. In order to better communicate with us, they also teach themselves Urdu. Now, we also like to play table tennis together." Just in Harima, who had finished praying in the mosque in the park, was talking to his Chinese colleague while finishing his clothes, hurriedly walked out of the mosque and walked towards home.
Pakistan scenery

In the Christian Desert, there is a blue ocean composed of millions of photovoltaic solar panels. "In the past, this was a desert, and even the locals would not come here. But now, it has become the most advanced solar oasis." Isaac said excitedly, pointing to the patches of blue photovoltaic panels around him. Because the water used to clean the photovoltaic panels flows down into the soil, weeds and other plants have grown in this barren land. Plants have grown on the desert, which to a certain extent can also prevent further desertification of the ground. This is us The windfall of building a photovoltaic power station."

What's more, what surprised the staff was that the photovoltaic power station also attracted various animals, including snakes, hares, porcupines, wolves... even pangolins were attracted. Whenever I see these uninvited little guests, the lonely people are especially excited. In an instant, even the desert became lively and lively.

Pakistan is an important country on the ancient Silk Road. Both the Eastern Jin Dynasty monk Faxian and the Tang Dynasty monk Xuanzang have visited the ancient city of Taxila. Gandhara's art has also entered China along with Buddhism.

Thousands of years later, China has sent clean new energy to Pakistan. The Chinese solution of "Light Energy Oasis" has ignited the beacon in everyone's hearts. In every degree of green light transmitted, the people of the two countries are condensed. A deep friendship forged together.

Zonergy Pakistan's 900 MW photovoltaic ground power station project is located in the photovoltaic park of Bahawalpur, Punjab. In May 2015, the project was officially launched. In June 2016, the first phase of 300 MW was officially connected to the grid for power generation. During the construction process, the project has created more than 3,000 jobs for Pakistan, trained nearly 100 photovoltaic operation and maintenance engineers, and a number of operation and maintenance skilled workers.

At present, the first phase of the 300 MW power station has been completed. Its power generation is directly supplied to the Bahawab region, accounting for 30% of the local electricity demand. This effectively alleviates the local power shortage and promotes local economic development, improves people's lives, and stimulates society. It has made positive contributions to employment, training photovoltaic talents, and optimizing energy structure.

Source: Zonergy
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