Xinhua: Interview: SEP Likely to Realize Goal to 'Build Another SEP Overseas' Ahead of Schedule: Chairman Wang Yundan

"We have worked out the goal to build another SEP overseas by 2020 after careful consideration, and in view of the current situation, we are confident and likely to realize this goal ahead of schedule," SEP Chairman Wang Yundan made the remark in an interview with Xinhua News Agency recently.

 

Since 2012, SEP has started to tap into the overseas market. In 2014, the company established the goal to "Build another SEP overseas by 2020", and stepped up globalization. At present, the company's PV power projects in Japan have been put into operation and made profits, its equity investment in Enemalta PLC, Malta’s only state-owned energy company, together with the acquisition of a controlling stake in Delimara 3, a major power plant in the country, has also achieved profitability, while its coal-fired power project in Turkey has become the largest project invested by Chinese enterprises so far in the country. As of end-June 2016, the total overseas assets of SEP grew 56.34 percent from a year ago.

 

The company's international operation strategy is completing, constructing and reserving a batch of projects simultaneously, which forms the cascade development of projects, Wang Yundan introduced. "Thanks to international operation, our profits have increased five-fold in the past five years. When we raised this goal to 'Build another SEP overseas by 2020' at the beginning, we meant that the overseas installed capacity would reach 5,600 MW by 2020, and now we are halfway there, with a number of projects to commence work in the coming year. Therefore, it is out of question that we will realize our goal, and more likely, we will exceed the expected target."

 

"Almost all of our overseas projects started as small ones, but their returns are better than projected in the feasibility study report, not only with good economic and technical indicators, but also with satisfactory social benefits. Our Malta project is a good example in this way," said Wang.

 

In 2014, SEP signed an official agreement with the Maltese government, according to which the company invested a total of 320 million euros, including 100 million euros to acquire 33.3 percent shares of Enemalta PLC and 150 million euros for the acquisition of 90 percent stake of Delimara 3.

 

The company's project in Malta turned around rapidly. Enemalta posted a profit of 15 million euros for 2015 and a profit of more than 36 million euros for the first 10 months in 2016, with the annual profit expected to exceed 40 million euros in 2016.

 

Apart from economic benefits, the Malta project has brought huge social benefits to the local community. In 2015, the power tariff in Malta was reduced by 25 percent, with the power supply reliability increased by 62.7 percent, and as a result, the local people's livelihood has been improved, the costs of local industry and commerce lowered, and the debt burden of local government lightened.

 

"Currently, we have no solely-owned companies abroad. All of them are cooperation projects. Through cooperation, we and our partners could leverage different advantages and create value jointly." Wang believed this as the "know-how" for the company's international operation.

 

According to Wang, Malta has its unique geographical advantage in that Europe is to its north, North Africa to its south and Middle East to its east. In addition, as an EU member state, Malta possesses incomparable superiority in terms of law, tax, capital settlement, etc. Thus, the successful experience in Malta will be applied to the projects in other European countries and other parts of the world.

 

Recently, SEP and the Dubai-based Abraaj Group signed an agreement on the purchase of 66.4 percent stake of the Pakistan-based K-Electric Limited (KE), which marks a significant milestone in SEP's acquisition of KE. Wang indicated that the company will seek more business opportunities in line with China's "Belt and Road" Initiative, and strive to realize both economic and social benefits jointly with its partners.

 

"It is said that SEP is a 'veteran player' among Chinese enterprises going global. It is not whether we are 'veteran players' but that we want to be 'good players' that counts," said Wang, with full of confidence in the company's journey of globalization.

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