Red chip plans to invest $705m to build two clean energy projects China Everbright International plans to invest $705 million in two waste-to-energy projects in Jiangsu as it seeks to aggressively expand into the clean energy business. The red chip, a Hong Kong unit of conglomerate China Everbright, will invest 500 million yuan in a wholly owned waste-to-power project in Suzhou, which will burn 1,000 tonnes of rubbish a day and generate 78 million kilowatt-hours of power annually when it comes on stream in the first half of next year. Another wholly owned, 500 tonne-a-day waste-to-power project in Wuxi city will cost $225 million and start operating in March 2007. The plans were unveiled yesterday when the company reported its first-half results, which included a contribution to net earnings of $7.59 million from its first environmental protection project, a waste-water processing plant. Earnings grew 38.28 per cent year on year to $62 million, largely due to a $21 million gain on revaluation of investment properties, compared with a gain of just over $8 million in the same period last year. Excluding the revaluation gains, net profit grew about 10 per cent, chief executive Chen Xiaoping said. The company's Mawan power plant in Shenzhen contributed $30.44 million in interim net profit, flat from last year, as an 11 per cent rise in output offset higher coal costs. Other projects in the pipeline include a methane-to-energy project in Suzhou on which a framework agreement was signed with the municipal government. Commercial operation is expected in June next year. The project will use methane to power two 1,250-kilowatt generators. China Everbright has also signed framework agreements in Shenzhen, Zibo and Jinan in Shandong province on environmental protection projects. No details on the firm's investment amount and operating scale have been ironed out. 'The return on investment on these projects would be at least 10 per cent,' Mr Chen said. For the first six months, turnover soared 92.9 per cent to $61.54 million. Infrastructure business accounted for 64 per cent of operating profit against a 30 per cent contribution from property investment and 6 per cent from environmental protection business. An interim dividend of 0.6 cent was recommended, up from 0.4 cent last year.