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Wind and tourism put city of Shanwei on road to riches

By ZHENG CAIXIONG in Guangzhou (China Daily) Update:2022-04-24

Wealth of natural and historical resources sets once impoverished area up for prosperous future

Editor's Note: China Daily is running a series of stories on old revolutionary bases with profound history and heritage that are striving to lead local people on the road to prosperity in the new era.

A hundred years ago, people from Shanwei city, Guangdong province, often left their impoverished hometowns for the sea to make their fortune abroad.

Shanwei, which is one of southern China's old revolutionary bases, is now turning to its coastal advantages and marine resources to develop an offshore wind power industry to accelerate its economic development.


Shanwei in Guangdong province is rich in Red history and cultural sites and has the potential to develop a Red tourism industry. CHINA DAILY

According to city authorities, every effort is being made to develop a green energy sector and an offshore wind power manufacturing industry, to allow Shanwei to catch up with its more prosperous counterparts in the Pearl River Delta area.

The plan also includes the creation of an integrated upstream and downstream industrial chain focused on research and development, design, manufacturing, construction, operation and maintenance of offshore wind power stations.

Bai Jianzhong, Shanwei regional general manager of the Mingyang Smart Energy Group, a Shanghai Stock Exchange-listed company, said the city is planning to develop an offshore wind power manufacturing industrial cluster capable of an industrial output of 100 billion yuan ($15.5 billion).

"Shanwei is going all-out to build an offshore engineering center and wind power industrial chain that integrates the electric energy and advanced equipment manufacturing sectors," he said, adding that the city already has several offshore wind farms currently under construction.

The first phase of the Shanwei (Lufeng) Marine Engineering Base has attracted major players in the wind power sector. Producing fans, blades, towers, pile foundations and submarine cables since 2019, it is now the country's largest offshore wind power port.


Shanwei has a long history of raising oysters. CHINA DAILY

Annual production value during the first phase should reach 20 billion yuan once all its companies have started production. Covering an area of 1.53 million square meters, as well as a marine area of 450,000 square meters, the base will employ 5,000 people, playing an important role in boosting Shanwei's economic development.

According to Bai, the China General Nuclear Power Group has invested in construction of two wharves and three berths-the largest capable of handling ships of up to 9,900 metric tons-to enhance the development potential of the base.

For the most part, construction has been completed, and the wharves are scheduled to go into operation some time this month. Construction of the second and third phases is also advancing steadily, Bai said.

Those phases will focus on developing industrial chains in hydrogen energy production, energy storage, and port logistics and are intended to attract offshore wind power construction, operation and maintenance companies, as well as related industries.

The entire base will cover 10 million square meters once the second and third phases are completed.


A farmer harvests plums at a plantation in Luhe county, Shanwei. PENG RUIFENG/FOR CHINA DAILY

Meanwhile, Shanwei is also vigorously developing its electronics, information, car parts and infrastructure industries while redoubling efforts to protect historical sites, explore its Red tourism potential and develop mariculture, and ecological and tourism-related agricultural industries.

Chenzhou village, which has a 300-year-history of raising oysters, was listed as one of Guangdong's modern agricultural parks last year.

The oyster industry brought the tiny village 560 million yuan last year, up 21.74 percent from 2020, and played an important role in eliminating poverty there.

Just 0.45 square kilometers in size, Chenzhou, which is known as the "village of oysters", is home to 1,760 residents in 396 households.

Shanwei, the hometown of Peng Pai (1896-1929), a well-known revolutionary martyr, is rich in Red history and cultural sites and has the potential to develop a Red tourism industry.

A native of Haifeng, a county administered by Shanwei, Peng was one of the principal leaders of the Communist Party of China's early peasant movements.

He joined the CPC in 1924 and participated in the famous Nanchang Uprising on Aug 1, 1927.