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Central SOEs in Hubei fast getting back to normalcy

Zhong Nan
Updated: Mar 26,2020 09:13 AM    China Daily

Centrally-administered State-owned enterprises have actively resumed production and construction operations in Central China's Hubei province as the epidemic prevention and control work has significantly improved in the region, business leaders said.

The steel structure unit of China First Metallurgical Group Co, a subsidiary of China Metallurgical Group Corp, restarted production last week and completed construction of two liquefied petroleum gas storage tankers for Port Kelang's energy project in Malaysia on March 25 at its Yangluo manufacturing base in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province.

The company is currently building the steel structure and parts for commercial and residential building projects in Zhuhai and Shenzhen in South China's Guangdong province, along with a bridge project in Xi'an, the capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi province.

"Even though our work schedule was delayed by the COVID-19 outbreak after the Spring Festival, the impact is only short-term. We have shifted some material preparation and equipment manufacturing work to other plants within the group to ensure that work can be properly carried out amid the outbreak," said Wang Cheng, president of China First Metallurgical Group Co.

All three Hubei-based branches of China Metallurgical Group Corp have resumed operations. Their subsidiaries are also undertaking steel production, municipal and flood control projects in Jingzhou, Ezhou and Wuhan.

China Communications 2nd Navigational Bureau, a subsidiary of Beijing-headquartered China Communications Construction Co, restarted road construction work on March 20 in the southern Huangpi district of Wuhan under a public-private partnership (PPP) business model.

With a total investment of 1.92 billion yuan ($272 million), the road is 32 kilometers long and is scheduled to be completed in 24 months.

In addition to building roads, the contractor also needs to build bridges, traffic, water supply and drainage facilities, as well as install lighting equipment and landscaping materials under the contract. Those projects are expected to be operational by the end of 2021.

CCCC's group president Song Hailiang said the company will further coordinate resources and continue to increase support for epidemic prevention and control for its firms and projects in Hubei. It classified projects across the province based on their risk level, business types and production conditions before restarting operations.

Even though the central SOEs in service sectors such as tourism, civil aviation, hotel and retail businesses have borne the brunt of the slowdown in February, China Post Group Corp has conducted nonstop services in Hubei province to support its fight against the disease.

The group has organized 653 inter-provincial truck services, 384,900 intra-provincial truck services and 102 cargo air services to transport a total of 1.1 million items, or 13,486 metric tons of goods, to Hubei province by March 23 since the epidemic broke out.

In the meantime, China Post also delivered 35,890 items to medical teams sent by other regions to Hubei without any charges.

China's central SOEs have played an essential role in assisting the country in producing materials for epidemic prevention and control.

They built medical infrastructure and other supporting infrastructure facilities, as well as supplying food, power and enhanced communication networks in Hubei, said Zheng Donghua, deputy director of the research center at the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council.

Eager to mitigate the impact on its economy, Wuhan has planned to cut electricity fees for enterprises as they gradually resume operations in a city hit hard by the virus.

The new policy will cover a total of 1,365 companies and is expected to save the firms 389 million yuan in electricity bills before June 30, a circular unveiled by the city government on March 24 said.

The city will take different measures to promote the resumption of work based on the health risks of different regions.

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