外国记者 Foreign Correspondent

Reporting in China

Don’t force the chief to admit he lied

with one comment

December 10, 2009 – SHUANGQIAO

Biofuel machine "factory"

Adam and I return this morning to room 208 to eat a meagre breakfast of millet porridge, a few stale steamed buns and a tea egg.

Shuangqiao, the nearest town to the village, is clearly coal-powered. Huge lorries trundle through, carrying coal to nearby factories and homes. We visit a few private coal yards close to the hotel. At each one, two or three temporary workers spade coal from middling piles into bags or onto the back of horse-drawn carts. The horses look well-fed, but frequently whipped. As I approached them, they bowed their heads to the ground with worry. The hairs on the back of their legs had frozen into icicles of sweat.

The people are much jollier than down in the south, and universally preoccupied with my height and Adam’s PLA hat, which has flaps and makes him look Russian in their eyes. The bosses of the coal yards we visit say they have heard of the biofuel, but dismiss it as a fuel for peasants who can’t afford the superior luxuries of coal. One worker, however, says he is interested in investing in a biofuel machine, since he feels that it represents the future.

In the biggest yard, we sit inside with a family who have been coal salesmen for a decade. They tell us that with more people moving into apartments and using electricity, their sales have halved in three years. A brand new coal-fired power station at Hulan, with four cooling towers, has also crippled them – the station gets its coal from a state-owned mine and supplies their former customers.

After a huge lunch of beef, potatoes and a mix of cucumber, gourd, and egg and mushroom dumplings we return to the village. Yesterday, the boss claimed that he was selling his biofuels to nearby factories. When we asked if he could take us to them, he hesitantly agreed.

But when we get to the village, we are too early. The chief is still in the middle of his baijiu lunch. He sends his wife to look after us, but we scarper into the fields to avoid putting her out because she hasn’t eaten yet.

After half-an-hour, one of the chief’s cronies shows up, roaring drunk and with his flies undones. He takes us to the “factory”. This turns out to be where they made their biofuel compressor machine, which is romantically titled “Compress and Support BioEnergy Machine”. Rather than a production line, the factory is a yard in which two men are welding a few boilers.

Inside, another couple of engineers are busy reverse-engineering an enormous machine made by a company called Weida. The men take it slowly to pieces before hammering out their version of the machine’s cogs and gears from brick-sized blocks of steel. Adam is forbidden to photograph the process in case he lands them in trouble from the manufacturer. A small boiler in the corner is burning the biofuel briquettes.

When we push the chief to take us to a factory that is actually using biofuel for production, he demurs, muttering that there was a chicken farm that was heated with his biofuel but that they had sold all of their chickens yesterday. Adam nudges me and reminds me not to ask too many awkward questions. If the chief has to admit he was exaggerating, it will be a huge loss of face. And since he is relatively drunk, and staggering around the room, he might not react well to pushy foreigners. Adam reaches out to stroke his fur coat in a friendly manner and is rewarded with a venomous stare.

2009年12月10日,双桥镇
这边的居民普遍比南方的要快乐活泼点,对我的身高和Adam的军帽都感到好奇。Adam的帽子有耳廓,看起来像苏联人,当地人都这样认为。煤厂的老板对生物燃料有所听闻,但认为只是农民因为买不起煤才退而求其次。一个工人倒是对投资植物燃料压缩机感兴趣,觉得生物能源是未来所趋。
在附近最大的一个煤厂,我们和煤厂老板一家人在屋里聊了会天。这家人从事煤炭行业已愈十年。在过去的三年里,镇上很多居民搬进了公寓房,开始使用电取暖,他们的生意已经比以前减半了。新建成的呼兰发电厂对他们的生意也造成了打击。电厂的煤是国有煤矿提供的,火力发的电供给了一些原先采煤取暖的居民。
中餐我们吃了一大锅土豆炖牛肉,还有两三斤各色饺子,有黄瓜,西葫芦还有蘑菇鸡蛋馅。饭后我们回到了村子里。昨天村长介绍说他们也给周边的工厂提供玉米杆子燃料块。我们提出希望能参观工厂,他很不情愿地答应了。
车子到达村子的时候,离约定的时间还早。村长还在白酒席上。他让他的妻子回来招待我们,但我们还是找借口去了村口田里,村长妻子还没顾的上吃中饭呐。
半小时后,村长的一个跟班找到了我们,明显有点醉意,裤子拉练都没拉上。他带我们去了“工厂”。结果呐,却是他们制造压缩机的工厂。这个压缩机还有个名字,叫做“扶压式生物能源机”。工厂外间没有生产线,只有两个工人在焊接锅炉设备。
工厂内间有两三个工程师在拆装一个巨型设备。他们把机器慢慢拆成砖块大小的铁部件,再锻击成他们想要的压缩机的齿轮装备。车间禁止拍照,大概是怕被机器的原厂家(weida)发现,给他们带来麻烦吧。车间一角的锅炉就是用他们的玉米杆燃块采暖的。
我们后来催促村长带我们去一个用玉米杆子做燃料的工厂,他表示为难,咕哝着说附近只有个养鸡场是用玉米杆子燃料的,但是昨天所有的鸡都被卖掉了,今天暂时关停了。Adam示意我别问太多不合适的问题,如果村长被逼承认自己夸大事实的话,那可是很失脸面的。并且他当时已经很有醉意,走路都有点不稳,可能也应付不来比较坚持己见的外国人。Adam友好地拍了拍他的毛大衣,却被狠狠地回瞪了一眼。
ANY_CHARACTER_HERE
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Written by malcolmmoore

December 19, 2009 at 8:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

One Response

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  1. Quality Information Thanks!

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    there is some more information you may find useful in our members area!

    Warm Regards,

    Dougie

    Douglas Blackwell

    January 7, 2010 at 10:40 pm


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