Xinjiang promotes use of electricity

Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region has been expanding the use of electricity to replace traditional energy sources in agriculture, industry and tourism in recent years, which has not only resulted in higher production efficiency but has also improved the environment.

Two workers from the State Grid Xinjiang Electric Power Co., Ltd. check the drainage and irrigation system in a lavender field in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. (Photo/Chinanews.com)

State Grid Xinjiang Electric Power Co., Ltd. has been promoting the use of electrical equipment to upgrade the lavender industry, a pillar industry in Huocheng county, Ili Kazakh autonomous prefecture of Xinjiang.

In one of the county’s lavender plantations, lavender flowers are dried by an electrical machine in around two hours. After setting parameters including temperature, and drying, distilling and cooling time, an operator can start the process just by pressing a button.

“In the past, a production line required two or three workers to dry lavender flowers. Now, we only need to set the parameters on the drying equipment, which has greatly improved production efficiency and product quality,” said Wang Xin, an executive at the plantation, whose products are sold at home and abroad.

Wang added that the machine makes the distillation of lavender essential oil less time-consuming, more efficient, and more environmentally-friendly, compared to the conventional method using coal-fired facilities.

So far, two top-tier lavender enterprises have completed electrification, bringing down their costs by over 30 percent while significantly enhancing product quality.

Similarly, electrical machines have brought positive changes to the cotton industry in Xinjiang, home to more than 80 percent of China’s annual cotton production. Nearly 60 percent of all the 283 cotton ginning enterprises now dry the cash crop with cotton dryers.

The cotton dryer is easy to operate and is an ideal alternative, as its thermal efficiency can exceed 95 percent, much higher than that of a coal furnace, which means it saves 30 percent in processing time without generating pollution. The machine also ensures safety in the drying process.

This year, the State Grid Xinjiang Electric Power Co., Ltd. will continue its efforts to ensure that electric dryers will replace the remaining coal furnaces in the other 115 enterprises across the autonomous region.

The company has also built a 35-kV transformer substation and 32.82 km of 35-kV transmission lines around Jiangbulake scenic spot in Qitai county. Thanks to these efforts, the scenic spot now fully uses electricity to replace coal in transportation, recreation, catering and heating equipment.

“Now the entire scenic area is using clean energy, which has helped improve local air quality and improved tourists’ experience,” said Liu Dong, manager of the scenic area.

Statistics show that in the first five months of this year, State Grid Xinjiang Electric Power Co., Ltd. has replaced traditional energy with electricity in 314 agricultural projects and 435 industrial projects, generating a total of over 1.7 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity in these projects. In this way, the company helped reduce standard coal burning by 595,700 tons and carbon-dioxide emissions by about 1.5 million tons in Xinjiang.