Lit­tle city that could

Zhuzhou, rail­way in­dus­try’s home, aims to drive na­tional growth

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By LIU WEIFENG and ZHONG­NAN in Zhuzhou, Hu­nan Con­tact the writ­ers at li­uweifeng@chi­nadaily.com.cn and zhong­nan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Zhuzhou, a small city (pop­u­la­tion: 4.05 mil­lion) in Cen­tral China’s Hu­nan province, has an am­bi­tion to emerge as the “engine” of China’s growth. It’s not an un­re­al­is­tic am­bi­tion or a fan­tasy, con­sid­er­ing that lo­cal rail­way in­dus­try’s out­put ex­ceeded 100.37 bil­lion yuan ($14.55 bil­lion) last year.

Hometo 62 rail tran­sit re­lated en­ter­prises, in­clud­ing sev­eral arms of China Rail­way Rolling Stock Corp Ltd, such as Zhuzhou In­sti­tute Co Ltd, Zhuzhou Lo­co­mo­tive Co Ltd and Zhuzhou Times Electrics Co Ltd, Zhuzhou also boasts ma­jor man­u­fac­tur­ers and ex­porters of China-made rail­way prod­ucts. More than 70 coun­tries and re­gions source prod­ucts from Zhuzhou.

“Along with the rail tran­sit re­search and production ca­pac­ity, we­have strong ad­van­tages in man­u­fac­tur­ing clean en­ergy buses and small and medium-sized air­craft en­gines,” said Mao Tengfei, Party chief of Zhuzhou, adding the city is plan­ning to po­si­tion it­self as China’s “Engine Val­ley”.

China’ s first in­de­pen­dent­lyin­no­vated low-speed ma­glev line, link­ing the air­port of Chang­sha, cap­i­tal of Hu­nan province, with the down­town has been run­ning for more than 200 days. The 18.5- km air­port ex­press line, and the train with a top speed of 100 km per hour, were cre­ated by CRRC Zhuzhou Lo­co­mo­tive Co Ltd.

Hauled by such “en­gines” in the form of rail trans­port, new en­ergy ve­hi­cles and ae­ro­craft in­dus­try, the out­put of the city’s three big in­dus­trial sec­tors is ex­pected to reach 400 bil­lion yuan by 2021. The rail tran­sit sec­tor will ac­count for half of it, and one-fifth of the to­tal production will go to in­ter­na­tional mar­kets, ac­cord­ing to the city’s ac­tion plan to build “Engine Val­ley”.

In 2015, rev­enue of Zhuzhou’s rail tran­sit equip­ment, auto and ae­ro­craft grew31 per­cent, 52 per­cent and 22 per­cent year-on-year re­spec­tively.

A 20-bil­lion-yuan in­no­va­tion park was set up to en­hance the re­search and development ca­pa­bil­ity of the rail trans­porta­tion sec­tor.

An­other 20-bil­lion-yuan project will be im­ple­mented to fa­cil­i­tate the growth of small and medium-sized ae­ro­craft en­gines.

Hu­nan Sun­ward Sci­ence and Tech­nolo­gies Co Ltd, a sub­sidiary of Hu­nan Sun­ward In­tel­li­gent Ma­chin­ery Co Ltd, a pri­vate man­u­fac­turer of gen­eral avi­a­tion prod­ucts, de­buted its in­de­pen­dently in­no­vated new model of car­bon fiber-made Sun­ward SA60L air­craft at the Air Show in Zhuhai ear­lier this month.

He Qinghua, chair­man of Sun­ward, said the SA 60L plane, also called “Au­rora”, is the re­sult of 10 years of ef­forts, and is ca­pa­ble of fly­ing 1,300 kilo­me­ters non-stop by con­sum­ing just eight liters of avi­a­tion fuel per 100 km.

Liu Daxi, deputy gen­eral man­ager of Zhuzhou CRRC Times Elec­tric Co Ltd, said the com­pany spends up to 20 per­cent of its an­nual rev­enue on R&D.

“We’ll have wider and deeper strength on in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion,” Liu said. The com­pany is now fo­cus­ing more ef­forts on co­op­er­a­tion with overseas uni­ver­si­ties to consolidate its R&D abil­ity and widen tal­ent pool.

It has also es­tab­lished closer ties with the Uni­ver­sity of Sh­effield, the Uni­ver­sity of Not­ting­ham and the Uni­ver­sity of Cam­bridge in the UK and the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan in the US, along with sev­eral do­mes­tic ones, in­clud­ing Ts­inghua Uni­ver­sity.

Along with the rail tran­sit ... we have strong ad­van­tages in man­u­fac­tur­ing clean en­ergy buses and ... air­craft en­gines.” Mao Tengfei, Party chief of Zhuzhou

LONG HONGTAO / XIN­HUA

Two engi­neers con­duct a test on a new tram just off the production line at the CRRC Zhuzhou Lo­co­mo­tive Co Ltd.

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