Last year, Asia Pulp & Paper installed solar panels in China that are providing 70.5 megawatts of solar power. APP is to add another 200 megawatts across eight of its mill companies in China.
That is enough to power more than 500,000 homes.
It is expected to be the largest solar project within the pulp & paper industry, and one of the largest rooftop solar projects anywhere in the world, when completed in three to five years.
The project will result in the installation of approximately four million square metre of solar panels, the equivalent of 560 football pitches.
“As one of the world’s largest pulp and paper companies, we recognise the important role we must play in helping reduce global emissions. Whether through facilitating the growth of renewable energy in China, reducing emissions from peatlands in Indonesia or cutting energy usage in our operations globally, we know we can have a significant impact,” stated Bingjian Sun, communications general manager for APP-China.
“As climate talks have progressed over the years, it has become clear that the private sector has a leading role to play in bringing about lasting change. Setting targets and making commitments can only go so far. It is real action on the ground that counts.”
The panels will be installed at APP operations at Gold East, Gold Hongye, Gold Huasheng, Hainan Jinhai, Yalong, Ningbo Zhonghua, Ningbo Asia and Guangxi Jingui mills in China.
The project is being developed by a group of Chinese solar manufacturers led by APP. China is the world’s largest investor in renewable energy, investing more than AU$115 billion (US$89.5 billion) in 2014 according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The Chinese Government is committed to the annual development of a minimum of 10GW of solar power capacity between 2013 and 2015.
Bingjian Sun added, “This project means APP will benefit from efficiency savings, while also making an important contribution to the local communities around our mills through the generation of clean and renewable power. It is a great example of how sustainability can have a positive effect on planet and people as well as profit. It also supports the Chinese Government’s commitment to increase the proportion of renewable energy in China to 20% by 2030.”
The power generated by the project will be supplied into the national power grid to benefit local users. APP in turn will receive discounted electricity from the national grid.
The 2015 project is an extension of a commitment to solar power generation made in 2014. Last year’s projects were:
- A project with an installed capacity of 30.5MW at Hainan Jinhai Pulp and Paper became operational in March 2014. It is China’s largest existing rooftop solar installation
- A 20MW rooftop solar project was recently completed at Gold HongYe Mill in Suzhou
- Gold East Paper, located in Zhenjiang, also launched a 20MW rooftop solar project, which is expected to be completed during Q1 2015.
APP has upheld ambitious environmental goals since 2012. On 5 February 2013, the company published its new Forest Conservation Policy. This included its commitment to end all natural forest clearance immediately, throughout APP’s entire supply chain.
“Our goal is clear - No Deforestation,” APP states on its website.
“Like many businesses we need to balance the world’s demand for products against the natural resources available to deliver them. In our case, we operate in a particularly sensitive area, and natural capital is the root of our own capital. The issues for us are climate, conservation, community, and commerce and we are determined to find a way to enable these four to thrive in harmony with each other.”