Communities surrounding the power plants are the valuable stakeholders for operations of BPP because they have received both positive and negative impacts throughout the project’s life cycle. Consequently, the community’s acceptance is a significant factor for the project’s sustainability.
BPP has placed great emphasis on building community engagements and listening to their opinions since the project’s feasibility study gets started in order to collect comments and concerns from the communities, using them for engineering designs and reducing any impacts likely arising, inclusion of determining the monitoring and preventive measures during the project’s construction and operational stages. In addition, BPP has used opinions received from the community engagement to improve its operations and support the sustainable development corresponding to the local needs.
BPP has determined to conduct a social baseline study in the areas during the project’s feasibility study stage by adhering to the international standards in order to understand economic and social conditions in the project’s area. It has also established the guidelines for building community engagements and applying them as appropriated.
BPP has engaged the communities through stakeholder analytic procedures, dividing into directly and indirectly affected groups as well as beneficiaries since beginning to conduct a feasibility study in order to listen to opinions and concerns from the communities. These opinions and concerns are used for designing the projects and developing proper measures to mitigate social and environmental impacts for each area. Generally, the project’s stakeholders are classified based on the impact levels. The distinguishment may differ from local conditions and laws of each country.
- Communities living in the project area are those staying in the project’s zones and necessarily being relocated. They are the most affected people at the project’s beginning stage since the relocation has an impact on the community’s traditional living and possibly affects their occupations, cultures, and traditions, etc. As such, making understanding and well planning for relocations as well as supporting the communities for their best benefits with minimal effects, is a must. The unwilling relocation is avoidable and challenging for the project accomplishment.
- Communities located closest to the project are those living adjacent to the project’s areas or five kms away from the project (radius may vary upon each area). These communities are directly affected and in proximity to the project. BPP has considered them as the most affected stakeholders during its operational stage. Consequently, the communities residing closest to the project together with those staying in the project’s areas will be provided the utmost opportunities from the project such as job recruitments and occupational supports, etc.
- Communities located in the moderate vicinity of the project are communities living over 5 kms from the project but not exceed 10 kms (radius may vary upon each area) or the communities BPP purchased lands for operating, but do not have to relocate. These communities are directly affected by the project, but less than the first two groups. Hence, this community group is considered as the moderate affected stakeholders.
- Indirectly effected communities are the communities located far away from the project’s areas or those supporting the relocation which may be indirectly affected, for instance, increasing the population and transportation densities. BPP considered these communities as the least affected stakeholders, compared to the first three groups.
BPP has assigned a direct responsible function to engage communities in order to develop the operational plan appropriate for each community, covering a vulnerable group such as persons unable to protect their rights or have no freedom to make decisions on effects they may receive, such as children, the elderly, refugees, and native people.
The CHP plants in China, namely Luannan Power Plant, Zhengding Power Plant and Zouping Power Plant are located in the industrial and city areas for generating power, steam, and cold water to factories and local communities. BPP, therefore, has collaborated with customers, business partners, government agencies and nearby companies to engage communities through various activities for each location. As communities are also one of the key customers buying heats from the power plants during winter, the power plants have to operate in accordance with the community’s expectations. These include the stable operations, continuous quality heat supply, and flexibility to community’s needs.
- No significant complaints from the community.
- No business disruptions resulted from the community’s grievances.
Key Activities and Projects
The Vinh Chau Wind Power Plant project is considered as Banpu Power’s first step in conducting the power business in Vietnam that the surrounded community is an important stakeholder for its operation. The community living surrounding the project have been affected both positively and negatively throughout the project period.
The Company, therefore, places great attention to social data studies in the project areas. Moreover, a community engagement process and a community’s opinion hearing have been carried out prior to project construction. These include data gathering from the community engagement. All data collected is brought up and lead to the project design and decision making. Furthermore, all dimensions of possible impacts is monitored during both the project construction and operation.
In 2019, the Company conducted a study on social data with key activities such as:
- Gathering secondary social data and related laws
- Surveying and collecting of basic socio-economic data such as a number of populations per household, ethnicity, religion, local culture, education, occupations, unemployment, incomes and expenditures per household compared to the poverty line, infrastructure, public health, land use, including vulnerable groups in the area
- Arranging meetings for small community groups and stakeholders living surrounding the project and government officials to clarify project details, listening to their opinions, answering their questions and providing relevant information. There were 159 people selected via a sampling method with statistical principles participating in the meetings, divided into nine small-group meetings. A survey of 90 households was also organized.
- Drafting the grievance procedure and correction process
- Drafting a community engagement plan
The Company is able to use data from the locally social studies to create community engagement and look for opportunities to be a part in promoting the sustainable development in the future.
Haoyuan Solar Power Plant is located next to Ma Ziyu Village, Taian City, Shandong Province, China. This village is a rural village that faced with severe droughts during the winter season and has limited infrastructures, i.e. electricity and illuminations and water supply.The majority of Ma Ziyu population works in the agriculture field and most of the population is an elderly. 60% of them are 60-90 years old while 30% are 50-60 years old.
The Haoyuan Power Plant has implemented community engagement activities through surveying the needs of Ma Ziyu community members. The survey found that they need to improve the quality of life such as basic infrastructures, skills development and employment so as to increase their household incomes.
Consequently, Haoyuan Power Plant has implemented various community engagement and social responsibility activities focusing on improving the quality of life and occupational creation in addition to treating the Ma Ziyu community member.
The community engagement and social responsibility activities are as follows:
- Organizing the mechanic-skill trainings for maintenance works at the power plants for community members, such as solar panel maintenance, cable routing construction, and power plants cleaning
- Hiring contractors to work at the solar power plants such as construction, fence installation, solar panel maintenance, mowing, cable routing construction and road maintenance, etc.
- Installing solar street lights in the village roadways
- Home maintenance for the elderly, lifting their living conditions
- Organizing activities to build relationships with the elderly in the area, such as cooking food for the elderly during festive seasons, providing necessities for the elderly during the winter, and participating in cultural activities
The Company has placed great importance on respecting human rights and indigenous people engagement, although there is none of indigenous people staying in most of the company operation. The Company has to study and gain better understanding at the feasibility study stage so that the project can operate smoothly and will not affect ways of life and cultures of these native people. The Company has also put emphasis on cultural conservation, fair quality of life promotion such as public health and education, promotion of native products, and providing more job opportunities compared to people from other regions.
Located in Shaijiazhuang City, Zhengding County, Hebei Province, People’s Republic of China, Zhengding CHP Plant has a total installed capacity of 73 MW, generating about 10 million gigajoules of heat per year for users in Zhengding County, consisting of the industrial sector and communities in Zhengding City. It is the only power plant supplying heat into a centralized heating system, which is essential to people during the cold winter months. Recognizing its responsibility on the well-being of local communities, Zhengding CHP Plant has carried out the production process improvement projects in parallel with responding to the community needs, for example:
- Improving the air quality released from power plant’s stacks, with an investment of about CNY 200 million. The project has helped the power plant’s released air quality being significantly better than the standards required by laws. The plant can control pollution to an ultra-low emission level in both the amount of particular matters, sulfur dioxides and nitrogen oxides. As a result, Zhengding CHP Plant has been recognized by the government and has been selected as one of then Top 100 Eco- environmental Innovation Projects in 2020.
- Enhancing and expanding the production capacity in order to accommodate people in the area to be allocated heat from a centralized heating system thoroughly, responding to urbanization and population expansion. Currently, the plant has covered about 96% of the services.
- Extending the period of heat supply to the community during the winter season for several consecutive years in response to community needs.
- Increasing convenience for users by improving the payment system to be in the digital format.
- Providing 24-hour hotline service to solve problems that may arise with customers and communities, especially hospitals, schools, etc.
- In 2021, The plant collaborated with the government sector to improve heat exchange station for providing efficient service to the community, by improving the heat supply system, such as installing signal receivers, maintaining and building a remote monitoring system to increase the stability and efficiency of the heat supply system, which can operate continuously and efficiently.
Such operations have yielded fruitful contributions to a community of approximately 58,000 residents who continuously use heat with high quality and cost-effectiveness during the winter. This has caused people in the area to switch to a centralized heating system from the traditional heating method. As a result, the number of customers of Zhengding CHP Plant has continued to increase. In 2021, the community heat sales volume exceeded the target by 35.2%, with community heat sales revenue of CNY 27.3 million. Meanwhile connection fee income was recorded at CNY 12.2 million and CNY 24.3 million of a governmental subsidy (tariff).
Due to its efficient operations with environmentally-friendly manner, Zhengding CHP Plant has been trusted by the government and community. More importantly, the plant has been selected by the government to develop a solar rooftop project in Zhengding City, with an aim to install a total of 167 MW of solar panels on the roofs of governmental buildings, factories and communities, expected to be completed by the year 2023.
The solar power plants in China have continually implemented the projects for improving the quality of life and improving the economy according to the needs of each locality, especially that in rural areas where quality of life is still required for better improvement. The goal of this project is to upgrade the quality of life and promote occupation creation in the communities, including building an understanding between the power plant and the communities. A number of professional skills development projects have been undertaken in order to generate income from co-working with the power plants, such as cleaning solar panels to increase power generation efficiency, weeding and cleanliness to prevent fire, cable routing, construction and cleaning, etc.
In addition, safety and environmental training has been provided in tandem with supporting safe operation in the workplace. The participants of this project are residents from surrounding communities, most of whom are working in the agriculture field. The project has resulted in an additional earning in a total of CNY 1,286,600 for local people. Moreover, it has created engagement and good relationships with the community as well as yielded benefits to the company in maintaining the power plant to be able to generate electricity with the highest efficiency.
Throughout the past year, the company’s solar power plants in China have been able to generate power continuously without any interruption. In addition, the surrounding communities have also helped monitor security around the projects in another way. Besides, other quality of life improvement projects have been also implemented, such as:
- Having been supporting the improvement of the quality of life of the elderly, who are the major population in the areas surrounding the power plants since 2017. In 2021, 74 elderly people have been supported in this project.
- The installation of solar lighting in the village roads for safety.
- Home maintenance for the elderly so that they have a better life.
- Conduction of the cultural activities to build relationships with the communities, such as cooking food for a traditional festival, providing support for living during winter, giving hands to local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Community Development Policy
Stakeholder Engagement Standard