China’s dream of becoming the “world’s largest green hydrogen” base is also linked to the Uyghur region

Chinese authorities are urgently building the so-called “Xinjiang Kucha Green Hydrogen Demonstration Project” in Kucha County, which is densely populated by Uyghurs and whose Chinese population has grown rapidly in recent years. The Chinese press is reporting that the project is the largest in the world.

The electrolysis hydrogen production plant under the leadership of “China Petrochemical Company” has a production capacity of 20,000 tons. The project started construction in March and is scheduled to start production on October 30.

The project includes facilities such as a solar power plant, water electrolysis hydrogen production plant, 210,000 cubic meters of hydrogen storage tank, and a hydrogen transmission pipeline with a standard hydrogen production capacity of 28,000 cubic meters per hour.

Green hydrogen refers to hydrogen obtained by splitting water with renewable energy. Green hydrogen is considered a key component of clean energy. It is widely used in transportation, metallurgy, chemical industry and other fields.

In a news release from China, the green hydrogen project underway in the Kucha Economic and Technological Development Zone is said to be the world’s largest solar-powered hydrogen production project.

According to China Central Television’s Economic News Channel on August 14, the area of ​​solar panels at the green hydrogen production project site in Kucha is more than 9,500 square meters, which is equivalent to the size of more than 900 football fields. At the construction site of this project, construction workers are currently busy laying the main pipeline, building the fire pump house, and the foundation construction has been completed.

كۇچادا قۇرۇلىۋاتقان يېشىل ھىروگېن زاۋۇتىنىڭ قۇياش ئېنىرگىيەلىك ئېلىكتىر ئىستانسىسى قۇرۇلىشى. 2022-يىلى ئاۋغۇست، كۇچا.
The construction of the solar power plant of the green hydrogen plant under construction in Kucha. August 2022, Street.

According to Chinese media reports, the Kucha Green Hydrogen Demonstration Project uses all renewable energy sources, including solar panels and wind power, to produce hydrogen. The hydrogen production scale is 20,000 tons per year, which is the largest green hydrogen project currently being built in the world.

According to China’s news about the construction of this project, during the production of hydrogen, green electricity will be delivered to the hydrogen production workshop. Hydrogen is obtained by electrolysis of alkaline water, and all the hydrogen produced in the refinery is transported to the “Tarim” refinery, which is close to the production project, and replaces it.

“Xinjiang is rich in photovoltaic resources, so it is very appropriate to explore new energy solutions for hydrogen here,” Sao Jie, vice president of Tarim Refinery and Chemical Co., Ltd., a Chinese petrochemical company, said in an interview with China Central Television. will come The cost of photovoltaic electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen is about 18 yuan per kilogram.

Ling Yichun, vice president of the company, said: “We expect that the entire petrochemical industry will replace green electricity with green hydrogen in the future, and the future industry size will be at least 100 billion.”

The report said that with the replication of new energy generation and water electrolysis technology, energy costs will be greatly reduced. At the same time, excess new energy in the western region can be converted into hydrogen and sent to the central and eastern regions through existing natural gas pipelines.

According to recent news, it is known that the Chinese government, which is continuing the genocide against the Uyghurs, is further expanding the ways to fully exploit the advantages of natural resources in the Uyghur region, increasing the production of natural gas, oil, coal and electricity to the provinces of mainland China. Now the Uyghurs are building the world’s largest “green energy” base in China. China’s “green energy plan” has caused certain concerns among experts studying the situation and ecological environment of the Uyghur region.

Professor Stanley Toops, an environmental expert at the University of Miami in the United States, expressed concern that the news would pose a threat to water security in the Uyghur region, which is suffering from a lack of water resources.

“Although, I can’t say anything about the large-scale hydrogen production project that China has built in Kucha and how the hydrogen production process will have bad effects on the environment there, but. As we know, green hydrogen here refers to renewable energy hydrogen obtained by splitting water, which worries me. They use the Tarim River, the main source of water in Kucha, and all groundwater sources for this project. If these waters are used in this way and dried, they will not reappear. The entire region will face severe drought.

Professor Stanley Toops: “Why do you think China chose to build this project in the Uyghur region, which has limited water resources?” He answered our question: “With the exception of some provinces in the south of China, water is scarce everywhere. As for China’s construction of this energy project in Kucha, just as the United States chose to build such energy projects in a dry and sparsely populated area such as Nevada, China also chose Uygur, a sparsely populated area, compared to other parts of China. Its design selects an area of ​​influence that is limited to millions of people rather than hundreds of millions. Hydrogen is a new energy technology that is expected to be widely used in automobiles. But we all know that China’s construction was never intended to benefit the local people, just like other resources that come out of it. On the contrary, it is necessary to further study the negative consequences of this project in the local area.

MERICS, a German think tank that researches China’s political, economic, technological and ecological development, published an analysis on June 28, showing that the use of hydrogen fuel cells in the field of transportation has the highest advantages for high power and long-distance travel.

China is currently developing a market for a green hydrogen industry and developing hydrogen technology. He is poised to rapidly expand the green hydrogen industry over the next decade.

According to China’s “Sina” network, the “Xinjiang Kucha Green Hydrogen Demonstration Project” has four advantages: abundant resources, green and low carbon, widespread application and technological breakthrough. This project will create a new way for the development of green hydrogen processing and chemical industries, and will have a significant impact on the large-scale use of green hydrogen by processing and chemical enterprises.

According to China Global Policy Network on May 19th, recently, the National Development and Reform Commission of China and the National Energy Administration jointly announced the “Medium and Long-Term Plan for the Development of the Hydrogen Energy Industry” (2021-2035). Hydrogen energy is an important strategic choice to drive China’s new economic growth point.

Uyghur Autonomous Region’s Acting President Free Tuniaz’s speech at the “Kucha Green Hydrogen Demonstration Project” press conference shows that this project is also related to China’s stability strategy for the Uyghur region. He said: “Sinopec has made significant contributions to Xinjiang for a long time by increasing investment and construction, improving people’s lives, promoting economic development and social stability and long-term stability.” “His Xinjiang Kucha Green Hydrogen Demonstration Project will make the necessary contribution to ensure the country’s energy.”

Canadian analyst Mamet Dastu, who analyzed the connection between China’s hydrogen energy strategy and the Uyghur land, believes that the hydrogen plant built by China in Kucha, where Uyghur forced labor-related solar panels are the main energy source, may actually produce the opposite of China’s expectations.

Mamat emphasized his point of view on this matter: “At a time when different measures are being taken worldwide against the genocide against Uyghurs and measures to end Uyghur forced labor are being implemented, China will continue to fail in its strategy of dominating the world in the green energy sector, which is linked to the fate of Uyghurs.” “Because it is inextricably linked with the fate of East Turkistan and Uyghurs who are committing genocide,” he said.

He called on the world not to blindly invest in China’s so-called green energy, not to blindly follow, not to blindly buy, because the project, like many other fields, is related to various rights issues, including the forced labor of Uyghurs.

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