Tuesday, September 20, 2011

China solar panel factory shut after protests

19 September 2011 BBC

A solar panel factory in eastern China has been shut down after
protests by local residents over pollution fears.

Some 500 villagers staged a three-day protest following the death of
large numbers of fish in a local river.

Some demonstrators broke into the plant in Zhejiang province,
destroying offices and overturning company cars before being dispersed
by riot police.

Tests on water samples showed high levels of fluoride, which can be
toxic in high doses, officials said.

The BBC's Juliana Liu in Shanghai says the Chinese villagers see the
plant's closure as a victory.

They accuse Jinko Solar, a Chinese company making solar panels for
sale overseas, of dumping hazardous chemicals into the water supply,
our correspondent says.

"We feel that it is socially responsible to close the factory first
and to take corrective measures," company spokesman Thomas Jing told
the BBC.

He said there had been accidental discharge into the surrounding area
during a rainstorm at the end of August.

He said chemicals used at the factory had been stored in an open area
rather than a warehouse, and that the covering had been ripped off
during the unexpectedly harsh weather.

Mr Jing said the firm was investigating whether the fluoride was
responsible for the death of the fish. A clean-up was also under way,
he said.

The firm in Haining city is a subsidiary of a New York Exchange-listed
Chinese solar company, JinkoSolar Holding Company.

Meanwhile, local government officials said there would be an overhaul
of the production procedures at the plant involving the emission of
waste gas and waste water.

"[We will] go all out to maintain stability and seriously deal with
those who are suspected of violating laws in the incident in
accordance with the law," Haining's city government said in a statement.

It also reported police had arrested a man for spreading "rumours" on
the internet about cases of leukaemia and other cancers in local

Chen Hongming, a deputy head of Haining's environmental protection
bureau, was quoted by Chinese media as saying that the factory's waste
disposal had failed pollution tests since April.

The environmental watchdog has warned the factory, but it had not
effectively controlled the pollution, he added.

Government officials have been sent to the area to hear local
residents' grievances, the China Daily reported.

This is the latest example of Chinese citizens being spurred to action
over environmental worries. Last week, Shanghai halted production at
two factories over worries about lead poisoning.

Last month, a chemical factory in the north-eastern city of Dalian was
ordered to move after 12,000 residents took to the streets over
pollution fears.

Chinese Protesters Accuse Solar Panel Plant of Pollution

September 18, 2011

BEIJING ? In a fresh indication of growing public anger over
pollution, hundreds of demonstrators in the eastern Chinese province
of Zhejiang on Sunday were camped outside a solar panel manufacturing
plant that stands accused of contaminating a nearby river.

The factory in Haining is owned by a Chinese company, JinkoSolar
Holding Company.

The demonstration was the latest move in a four-day protest that has
sometimes turned violent.

The unrest began Thursday, when about 500 residents gathered outside
the plant, in Haining, roughly 80 miles southwest of Shanghai. Some
protesters stormed the five-year-old factory compound, overturning
eight company vehicles, smashing windows and destroying offices. The
next day, four police cars were damaged.

The factory is owned by JinkoSolar Holding Company, a Chinese firm
with more than 10,000 employees that is listed on the New York Stock
Exchange and reported total revenue in the second quarter of 2.3
billion renminbi, or about $360 million. Some investment analysts
described the company last year as a promising upstart in the
solar-energy products business.

?Return our lives to us, stay away from Jinko,? read one protest
banner that was photographed by a news agency. Company officials could
not be reached for comment on the unrest.

According to Chinese news reports, residents claimed runoff from solid
waste laced with fluoride and improperly stored at the plant had been
swept into the nearby river after heavy rainfall on Aug. 26. They said
that a sea of dead fish rose to the surface, covering hundreds of
square yards of water. Pigs whose sties had been washed with river
water also were reported to have died. The state-run China News Agency
reported that government inspectors later found that the water
contained 10 times the acceptable amount of fluoride.

The Haining demonstrations follow a mass demonstration last month in
Dalian, in northeast China, in which 12,000 people protested a new
chemical plant that produces paraxylene, a toxic chemical used to make
polyester products. Government officials promised to relocate the
plant after the protest, one of China?s largest in nearly three years.

Ma Jun, the director of the nonprofit Institute of Public and
Environmental Affairs in Beijing, said in an interview last month that
protests over pollution are on the rise.

?People have a growing awareness of the damage caused by environmental
pollution and a growing sense of rights,? he said. ?There are an
increasing number of cases that can be characterized as ?not in my
backyard.? ?

According to Chinese news reports, the Zhejiang solar-panel plant had
been faulted for improper waste disposal in April, and the government
had ordered the company to suspend production until it constructed a
facility to store solid waste safely.

The factory sits just more than 100 yards from an elementary school,
and about 300 yards from a kindergarten, reported National Business
Daily, a newspaper based in Beijing. A few protesters were reported to
have been arrested on charges of theft or vandalism.

In one sign of the government's growing concern over the potential of
Twitter-like microblogs in China to stir unrest, a 33-year-old
resident was arrested on charges of posting false rumors that 31
people had developed cancer and that six were stricken with leukemia
in the nearby village of Hongxiao, which is close to the plant and has
a population of 3,300.

The authorities said only six villagers had been given a diagnosis of
cancer since the start of last year.

Mia Li contributed research.

China closes solar-panel plant after protests

The solar-panel plant in the Chinese city of Haining was the target of
four days of demonstrations by villagers who said it was causing air
and water pollution. Its operator, JinkoSolar, apologizes.

By Jonathan Kaiman, Los Angeles Times
September 20, 2011

Reporting from Beijing?
Authorities ordered a solar-panel manufacturing plant in eastern China
to close after four days of protests by hundreds of villagers who have
accused the facility of causing air and water pollution, Chinese media
reported Monday.

The decision is an indication of the growing power of environmental
protesters to sway government policy in China. As many as 500
villagers participated in the protests near Haining, an industrial
city of 640,000 in coastal Zhejiang province.

The plant's operator, JinkoSolar, a New York Stock Exchange-listed
company, issued a public apology Monday.

"We cannot shirk responsibility for the legal consequences which have
come from management slips," Jing Zhaohui, a company representative,
said at a news conference. Calls to JinkoSolar Holding Co. went

Since the beginning of the protests, 20 people have been arrested on
charges of destruction of property, robbery and disturbing public
order, the Haining government said in a news release Monday.
Protesters damaged eight company cars and four police cars Friday
after police attempted to forcibly disperse the crowd, according to
the release.

Protesters had demanded an explanation for a large number of dead fish
found last month in a nearby river. Tests by the local environmental
protection bureau found that the plant was emitting high amounts of
fluoride, which can be toxic if it exceeds certain levels. According
to state media, the factory had been failing pollution tests since

"Since they set up their operations here, there has definitely been an
impact on the villagers here.... This pollution is definitely harmful
to us," a local man told Reuters news service. State media also quoted
villagers as complaining of harmful emissions from the factory's dozen

In addition to the order to halt production lines emitting potentially
harmful waste, the government has fined the plant about $74,000.

Chinese media have shown a surprising degree of boldness in reporting
the incident. Reporters from a Zhejiang television station alleged
that factory security guards attacked their production crew and
destroyed a video camera. In response, the factory issued an on-air
apology to the reporters and promised to fire the security guards, who
it said were temporary employees.

The government has taken a characteristically firm stance on the use
of Twitter-like microblogging services, which it fears as a potential
engine of social unrest. Haining authorities detained one man on
charges of "spreading false information" after he posted to his
microblog that 31 people in Hengxiao, a village of 3,300 near the
plant, have developed cancer within the last three years. City
authorities say the number is exaggerated.

Other protests have prompted the government to take action in recent
years. Last month, an estimated 12,000 people demonstrated outside a
chemical plant in the northeastern coastal city of Dalian, expressing
fears that typhoon weather would lead to dangerous chemical runoff.
The protest led the city government to promise that it would close the

In 2007, a similar incident in Xiamen, a southern coastal city, led
authorities to relocate a chemical plant.

Scholars estimate that there are as many as 100,000 mass protests in
China every year, many in rural areas. Most go unreported.

Kaiman is an intern in The Times' Beijing bureau.

Massive Riot Outside Shanghai Causes China To Shut Down Solar Plant

Sep. 19, 2011 Business insider

A solar-panel manufacturing plant in the eastern Chinese city of
Haining has been forced to close after hundreds of residents attacked
the facility in a 4-day protest over accusations the factory
contaminated a nearby river, according to the BBC.

The riots began on Thursday and lasted until Sunday, at times turning violent.

About 500 villagers unleashed their anger by overturning eight
vehicles, damaging four police cars, and destroying offices, reports
The New York Times. At least 20 people have been arrested on charges
of destruction of property, robbery and disturbing public order,
according to The Los Angeles Times.

The plant, which is owned by New York Stock Exchange-listed company
JinkoSolar, is accused by demonstrators of dumping toxic levels of
flouride into local waters, killing large numbers of fish and some pigs.

In addition to ordering the plant closed, the city's environmental
protection bureau fined the facility 470,000 yuan ($73,600).

"[We will] go all out to maintain stability and seriously deal with
those who are suspected of violating laws in the incident in
accordance with the law," a city government official said in a

This isn't the fist time local uprisings over fears of pollution have
spurred Chinese authorities to take action, as the country struggles
to maintain its image as a pioneer in green energy.

Last month, 12,000 demonstrators took to the streets to protest a
chemical plant in Dalian in northeast China, before authorities
promised to relocate the facility.

More recently, The Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau ordered
the temporary closure of two factories amid fears of lead poisoning.

?People have a growing awareness of the damage caused by environmental
pollution and a growing sense of rights,? Ma Jun, the director of the
nonprofit Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs in Beijing,
said in an interview last month, according to The New York Times.

1 comment:

Solar panels massachusetts said...

Solar energy is a clean and safe power source. Solar panel is gaining popularity because of its efficiency, durability and environment friendliness.