China-built water projects generate clean power for Latin America

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Sino-Latin American cooperation and friendship have witnessed continuous growth in recent years, owing to the fact that sound political relations provide strong political guarantees.

Despite an overall volatile international climate, China and Latin America have enhanced high-level contacts under the principles of equality, mutual benefit and common development.

Massive water projects built by Chinese companies in Ecuador and other Latin American countries are an epitome of Sino-Latin American cooperation and help nurture the flower of cross-continental friendship.

Over the past five years, the number of Chinese companies in Ecuador has increased from 26 in 2011 to over 80 this year. China has become Ecuador's main investment and financing source while Ecuador is China's fourth largest market for contracted projects in Latin America.

The construction of power stations has become a hallmark of infrastructure cooperation between the two countries in recent years.

Last month, Ecuador held a ceremony to celebrate the successful completion of a headrace tunnel for its Coca Codo Sinclair (CCS) hydroelectric station.

The CCS hydroelectric facility, which is currently being developed, is the largest energy project in Ecuador's history. Located in the Amazon Basin, 100 km east of Ecuador's capital Quito, the 1,500MW power station is constructed by the Chinese company Sinohydro and will be a run-of-river development on the Coca River.

The project is being promoted as a centerpiece of Ecuador's new energy plan, which could reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 4.43 million tons per year and replace imported energy resources.

The project has created over 7,700 direct jobs for local people and benefits more than 16,000 inhabitants by implementing new compensation practices through sustainable development programs, such as implementation and improvement of sewage systems, water and waste sorting collection and treatment, and organic soil storage and reuse.

Moreover, CCS is seeking to guarantee the right of communities to live in a healthy and ecologically balanced environment by financing infrastructure in local communities, providing goods and services to strengthen educational establishments, and training community members for better agricultural production.

Due to the outstanding contributions made by the project, CCS's project manager for the Chinese side has been awarded the "Honorary Citizenship of Chaco City" by the city's mayor.

Two weeks after the completion of the tunnel, Ecuador inaugurated a large flood control and irrigation project built by the Chinese construction company China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC).

The project is designed to avoid floods and droughts affecting coastal cities in the South American country. This is the second mega water project of the 16 projects that the Ecuadorian government plans to build with a total investment of 2,500 million U.S.dollars.

The Ecuadorian authorities said that the project has created 750 jobs and will benefit more than 65,000 people engaged in agriculture and also boost the production of sugarcane in local areas to produce clean fuels like ethanol.

CGGC has strictly followed local environmental laws and regulations and developed appropriate environmental management, testing and emergency handling systems. The company regularly monitors the quality of drinking water, sewage water and generator exhaust.

Moreover, CGGC also regularly sends professional medical teams to treat local residents and distribute medicines.

Since 2011, CGGC has also been responsible for the construction of Sopladora Hydropower Station in Ecuador. The 488MW project, which is still under construction, is very important for Ecuador's economic development and the improvement of people's livelihood.

The two companies, among other reputed Chinese companies, have made progress in Ecuador and also actively tapped the markets of other Latin American countries.

Between 2000 and 2013, trade in goods between China and Latin America and the Caribbean increased from around 12 billion dollars to nearly 270 billion dollars.

China is now a major creditor, investor and trade partner across the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). The Chinese side has proposed to raise the bilateral trade volume to 500 billion dollars and investment in the region to at least 250 billion dollars over the next decade.

The present economic and trade cooperation between the two countries can be aptly and vividly described by an old Chinese maxim, "A bosom friend afar brings a distant land near."

With the substantial advances in modern transportation and communication, the geographical distance between China and Latin America has been greatly reduced. Moreover, tangible benefits and win-win cooperation further reduce the psychological distance between the peoples and increase their desire to know and cooperate with each other.


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