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The Rupp Report: The Chinese Way To Economy And Ecology

Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor

For quite a long time, China has been accused of being one of the biggest polluters of the earth. Even so, many Western countries haven't cared enough about the environment. However, the situation in China is critical; the country is still one of the top polluters in the world, and it ranks first in the production of carbon emissions.

But attitudes have changed among the leaders in China. They've recognized that taking care of the environment and the natural resources is first of all necessary for survival: The drinking water supply is diminishing, the air is polluted, and energy costs are soaring.

The 12th Five-year Plan
Addressing the participants at the National People's Congress last month in Beijing, China's President Hu Jintao mentioned the need to further strengthen the activities for a better environment. Apart from other targets, Hu said, "China will make great efforts to participate in global economic governance and regional cooperation."

But even more important in this context was his comment related to the environment: "In the next five years," Hu said, "China will make great efforts to build a resource-conserving and environment-friendly society. We will further implement the basic state policy of resource conservation and environment protection, raise energy efficiency, cut the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions, develop a circular economy, promote wider application of low-carbon technologies, and actively respond to climate change. By doing so, we hope to balance economic and social development with population, resources and the environment, and embark on a path of sustainable development."

Further to this statement, the Chinese government is committed to increasing green technology. Premier Wen Jiabao stated openly in his annual address to the National People's Congress that China "will actively promote changes in the way energy is produced and used and raise energy efficiency" by implementing the cleanest use of traditional energy sources but also by developing clean energy.

Green Development
China's five-year plan for economic and social development also calls for green development. This is a clear sign that the country plans to be a world leader in this sector. A senior adviser on climate and energy for the Natural Resources Defense Council in China said that the language of the five-year plan is clear, requiring the Chinese people to improve their energy efficiency and establish so-called "green development goals."

Success for Andritz Perfojet
INDEX 2011, which took place April 12-15 at the Geneva Palexpo Exhibition & Congress Centre in Switzerland, was organized under the slogan "Innovation and Sustainability." In a few words, one can say that the show was a success for visitors, but even more for the exhibitors. Many exhibitors reported high numbers of highly qualified visitors. And among the visitors were people from all over the world, including China.

The readers of the Rupp Report know that France-based Rieter Perfojet was acquired by the Austrian holding company Andritz and is now named Andritz Perfojet S.a.s. And the close collaboration with its sister company Andritz Küsters is starting to be successful: At INDEX, the management from Andritz Perfojet announced sales of the largest spunlaced machinery ever built: a 660-centimeter-wide SPUNjet® system, sold to the BG Group from Shanghai for its BG Filter business. For years, spunlace technology was used mainly for lightweight, 20-to-80-grams-per-square-meter (g/m2) nonwovens. BG Group Board Chairman Liu Shuping told the Rupp Report that the main end products to be manufactured are geotextiles, roofing substrates and filtration with a fabric weight ranging from 200 to 300 g/m2.

This is no surprise. The BG Group is a large group of companies focusing on environmental protection in general and on the research of solid, air and liquid separation in particular; but also on air control and liquid filtration material including its production. The group has focused on these targets now for more than 20 years, and its annual production totals more than 30 million square meters, which makes it the largest manufacturer for filtration material and nonwovens in China.

Combine Economy And Ecology
And what are the main reasons Liu gives for following this strategy? "We combine economy and ecology for the benefit of the country and our company." This is exactly in line with what China's President Hu Jintao said in his welcome address at the National People's Congress: the need to further strengthen activities to promote a better environment. What a good start for Andritz Perfojet and the BG Group.

April 19, 2011