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Recycling project faces challenge in northwest
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A green chemical industry park is taking shape in the Sun Mountain Development Area in Wuzhong Prefecture, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. The chemical project, funded and operated by Inner Mongolia-based Qinghua Group, one of China's top 500 private companies, produces coke and utilizes production byproducts in an economic recycling process.

Model construction plan of the industrial park. [Huang Shan/China.org.cn]

According to the original plan, the industrial park will be funded by an investment of 20 billion yuan and become an industrial complex covering coke production, coal-chemical production, and power generation by 2012. Wastes discharged and gases emitted during the coke production process will be fully utilized in secondary production.

To ensure environment-friendly production, two wind-block walls over 1000 meters long – the longest in China – have been erected to keep coal dust from spreading.

The industrial park is expected to generate annual revenues of 25 billion yuan and provide 20,000 jobs. But the new plant, put into production in July, has been hit by the global financial turmoil. According to Guo Jinghua, the general manager, the price of coke was as high as 3,000 yuan per ton in July but nosedived to 700 yuan over the next few months. The low price has forced the plant to reduce coke output and stop all the chemical byproducts production.

In Guo's opinion, the ongoing crisis represents a severe blow to the facility; but on the other hand, it provides an excellent opportunity for other projects under construction. Work on the second stage of the industrial park, including coal mines, a power generator and a logistics center, will start next year.

(China.org.cn by Huang Shan, December 17, 2008)

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