They “reviving” the century-old steel plant in Serbia through green construction
CHONGQING (CQNEWS) -- Smederevo, a city in northeastern Serbia was the capital of Serbia in the mid-15th century. Today, it remains an important industrial city in Serbia. The Smederevo Steel Plant here, was once the only state-owned steel plant in Serbia and was known as the “pride of Serbia”.
However, due to intensified market competition and poor management, the century-old steel plant has been losing money for years and is on the brink of bankruptcy. In April 2016, HBIS Group, a Chinese company, responding to the "Belt and Road" cooperation initiative, acquired the Smederevo Steel Plant. However, the dilapidated factory buildings and backward facilities indicated that there is still a long way before returning its glory.
How to “revive”? China Metallurgical Construction, a central state-owned enterprise, has travelled across thousands of miles to provide “timely help” and undertake important work to transform the steel plant. In addition to domestic advanced construction and management experience, they also "spread" the concept and technology of green construction from Chongqing across other countries overseas.
Wu Jinghui, born in the 1990s, is one of the over 500 builders. As the Chief Engineer of the Overseas Business Department of MCC, he and his colleagues set foot on the land of Smederevo 6 years ago. The transformation work mainly includes three sub-projects, namely transforming the sintering system, building a new regenerative walking beam heating furnace, and building an 80,000 cubic meters of rubber curtain sealed blast furnace gas holder.
Green is the focus and highlight of the whole transformation. “We have carried out equipment maintenance, system transformation, and process upgrading for the steel plant, focusing on improving the intelligence, green manufacturing, and energy conservation and environmental protection level for this century-old steel plant,” said Wu Jinghui, adding that as an important part in steel smelting, only the sintering machine is expected to reduce solid fuel consumed by more than 10,000 tons a year after transformation.
In February 2023, this century-old steel plant finished its transformation, providing more than 5,000 jobs for local people to work in the steel plant. “We clearly feel that this small town is becoming increasingly lively and bustling," said Wu Jinghui, who deeply felt the enthusiasm of the local people during the 5 years of working in Serbia.
“There is an orchard near our project department, and the owner Teofilo is a warm and kind Serbian uncle. He often leans against the fence and invites us to rest and visit when we pass by, and even brings us fruits to eat." Wu Jinghui said that the workers of MCC often come to Teofilo’s orchard to help weed and fertilize, repair the fence, and take care of the fruit trees. When the harvest season arrived, Teofilo is so happy that he smiles all day long. He would bring several large baskets of fruits to the project department, saying they are the result of the friendship between the two peoples. (Translated by Hu Chuanmin, Fathom Language Limited)