SPIC Website: Win-win Cooperation Helps Chinese Electricity Enterprise Take Root Overseas

As one of the world's largest economies, Japan is a high energy consumption country with its energy supply heavily dependent on imports. After the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, Japan has been resorting to green energy such as solar energy and wind power with urgent demand.


SPIC, as a centrally-administered SOE with good operation model and win-win cooperation concept, has gradually gained a firm foothold in the electricity industry in Japan with an extremely high barrier.


SEP Japan is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shanghai Electric Power Company Limited (SEP) in Japan, which is a large-scale Chinese electricity enterprise listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (stock code: 600021). Founded in September 2013 as a local legal person of SEP in Japan, SEP Japan is mainly engaged in the investment, development, construction, operation, maintenance and management business of clean energy power generation projects involving solar PV, solar thermal, wind power and hydropower in Japan.


Since it started business in January 2014, SEP Japan has been enlarging its staff steam along with the large-scale business expansion, and has adjusted its department settings based on the business requirements. There are six departments in the company, which are General Office, Comprehensive Planning Department, Finance Department, Project Promotion Department, Technology Management Department and Production Management Department.


As of the end of 2017, SEP Japan had completed and put three PV power plants in operation, with total installed capacity of 42.6 MW (2.4 MW for Nanko Osaka PV Power Plant, 5.2 MW for Sanda Hyogo PV Power Plant and 35 MW for Tsukuba Ibaraki PV Power Plant) and aggregated power generation of 33.87 GWH, which exceeded the target of 33 GWH assigned at the beginning of the year. In 2017, the above three power plants sold total on-grid electricity of 33.7 GWH, with total sales amounting to 1.332 billion yen and average net profit margin of 18 percent. Also in 2017, the company posted net profit of 50 million yen, realizing profit for the first time, with all the power plants in operation beating the profit target. It is expected that the aggregated power generation of the company will exceed 66 GWH in 2018, with the estimated electricity sales revenue of over 2.3 billion yen.


What is the secret for the company's success in Japan? Blending into the local society and helping local residents overcome difficulties proved to be the key to winning the support of the people.


Sanda Hyogo PV Power Plant, located in Sanda city, Hyogo prefecture, has started to generate electricity since the end of December, 2015. As the power plant resolved the local water and earth damage issue effectively, it became one of the most popular power plants among local residents. The power plant site once was a landfill area for the construction residue. Due to a floppy foundation, the area would form huge quantities of water every time it rained and thus made the life of surrounding residents miserable. Before constructing the power plant, SEP Japan decided to solve this urgent problem concerning people's livelihood in the first place so as to gain the trust of local residents. Having discussed the matter with the government of Sanda city, held an explanation session for the local residents and reaching a consensus with them, the company built a sand basin and drainage facility in the local area. Rainwater flows through the soil grown with plants, slows down, then flows into a U-shaped side ditch, and converges into three sand basins eventually. With earth and sand separated in the sand basins, rainwater will flow into the neighboring pool for irrigation, turning muddy water ready for agricultural use. In order to prevent geological disasters, SEP Japan implemented a large-scale foundation improvement project which strengthened the local foundation and enhanced disaster resistance ability greatly. Hence, the long-term water and earth damage troubling the local residents was solved effectively.


Ibaraki prefecture, 60 km from Tokyo, is well-known for agricultural production, especially for rice, lettuce, lotus, etc., with the total cultivation area ranking the second in Japan. Local residents live on agriculture for generations, but with the aggravated problem of aging population, the average age of the farmers is about 70, and large quantities of farmland has been abandoned due to lack of successors.


In the end of 2014, SEP Japan put forward an idea of utilizing a piece of abandoned farmland in Ibaraki to build a solar power plant. Moriyama Hirotoshi was mainly in charge of handling all kinds of administrative formalities needed for the project commencement, including communication with around 200 local households one by one. However, it was not easy to acquire unanimous understanding and support from the local residents.


Moriyama Hirotoshi, aged 36, has been working in SEP Japan under the flag of SPIC for four years. "I considered it a mission impossible when I was first assigned this task. Especially for those Japanese natives by birth, their first reaction was saying 'No' to a foreign enterprise seeking to rent their land," said Moriyama."We felt a little worried when we heard that it was a Chinese enterprise at first. But in the process of continuous communication, we found that they were very sincere and honest," said a local farmer in Ibaraki prefecture.


Thanks to the joint efforts by Moriyama and his colleagues for more than two years, a large-scale PV power plant invested and constructed by SEP Japan, located at the foot of locally-known Tsukuba Mountain, was put into operation in April 2017, where approximately 20,000 PV panels with a total installed capacity of 35 MW were installed on the vast farmland with total area of 54 hectares, and all the equipment are made in China. The PV power plant could offer electricity to 10,000 households for a whole year. The power plant is also the largest agriculture-PV hybrid power plant in Japan at present.


Through lending abandoned farmland, local farmers could not only obtain rent income 10 times that of ordinary farmland, but also share a certain proportion of electricity sale while producing crop on the leased farmland, with total revenue increasing several times than before. Currently, such an industrial model serving multiple purposes is being promoted across Japan, and will develop as a brand new industrial pattern.


In order to develop green energy while preserving the local crop farming to the greatest extent, SEP Japan helped local farmers to plant Korean ginseng under the support brackets of PV panels. The Korean ginseng, introduced from Yanbian prefecture of China, is growing quickly, expected to be sold at 25,000 yen (equivalent of RMB 1,483) per kilo. The company has invested over 12 billion yen in this project. The construction of the agriculture-PV hybrid power plant has rejuvenated this area.


Thanks to the largest agriculture-PV hybrid power plant in Japan, the local economy has been injected with new vitality, and the farmers have returned to their farmland. Moriyama felt gratified for bring benefits to a large number of farmers by his own efforts.


The 2.4 MW Nanko Osaka PV Power Plant, the first power plant invested and constructed by SPIC in Japan, was honored the "National High-quality Investment Project Award in 2016-2017" by China Investment Association in 2017. So far, the company has newly acquired the project commencement permits for two PV power plant, two wind power plants and a biomass power plant besides three projects already in operation. In addition, SPIC is scheduled to finish the construction of the largest PV power plant in Japan till now in Fukushima by the opening of the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.


As the representative office of SPIC in Japan, SEP Japan has been endeavoring to display a good image of Chinese central SOE in the mainstream society of Japan while seeking business breakthrough actively.


In July 2015, SEP Japan became the first wholly-owned subsidiary of Chinese SOE in Japan to join the Japanese Federation of Economic Organizations successfully. The company has been maintaining good interaction with Japanese Federation of Economic Organizations and Japan Association for the Promotion of International Trade, introducing SPIC's measures and achievements made in energy conservation and environmental protection and development of green and clean energy, and demonstrating a good image of Chinese electricity enterprise in paying attention to people's livelihood and forging ahead positively.


At present, one fourth of the company staff are dispatched from SEP, and most of the major management staff are Chinese. The company has been dedicated to creating a harmonious cultural atmosphere, with both Chinese and Japanese employees learning the languages of their counterparts earnestly, and attempting to understand and respect the culture and customs of their counterparts' countries. For instance, Chinese employees promote Chinese traditional culture among their Japanese colleagues actively, and invite them to join the parties celebrating the traditional Chinese festivals such as the Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival and Spring Festival. The company has also organized Japanese employees and local partners to SEP headquarters in Shanghai to participate in all kinds of briefings and meetings many times, which brings them a more direct understanding of the corporate culture of SEP and SPIC.


In 2014, a Japanese employee who joined the company lately was diagnosed with cancer in the physical examination, and moreover, his condition was quite serious and needed ongoing treatment. Having learned that the employee's family was fairly poor with heavy living burden and thus could not afford the high medical expenses in future, the company assigned him to a position with comparatively less workload so as to reduce his work pressure. In addition, the company maintained his existing salary level based on humanitarian consideration, which ensured his monthly medical and living expenses.


On the last working day of 2015, around 100 Japanese workers from the project construction contracting company who had not returned home for holiday gathered at the project site of Sanda Hyogo PV Power Plant to wait for the acceptance check of the project. Diao Xu led the employees from Engineer Department of SEP Japan to inspect the construction site, all dressed in working clothes, fully affirmed the engineering quality, and took a group photo with all the staff of the contracting company to mark the occasion. More surprisingly, as the general manager of the owner company, Diao Xu handed out "red envelopes" to each of the construction personnel on site according to the Japanese New Year custom. All the Japanese staff were greatly moved by the manager of the Chinese enterprise for observing and respecting the local cultural customs.

<< Page >>

XML 地图 | Sitemap 地图