Interview with Xu Tao, CEO at SPECO
60 years of transformational growth
SPECO was founded in 1958, when new China stepped onto the path toward industrialization. The electric power industry was flourishing under the guidance of industrialized development, and our business was supplying spare parts and maintenance services for large power generation stations, as well as manufacturing some simple and single products for these customers. After the reform and opening up of China toward the global market in 1978, SPECO also started to learn about the world’s advanced technology and successfully developed 110 kV and 220 kV power transformers, complying with the trend of the times. In 1993, from ‘focusing on repair and keeping repair business by construction’ to ‘focusing on construction for development and guaranteeing urgent repair to protect the power grid’, the fundamental change of its corporate business policy was changed from repair to manufacturing. Since then the company has been forging ahead on its manufacturing way of great power. In the 21st century, with leapfrog development of China’s electric power industry, SPECO also ushered in a new opportunity for rapid development. In 2000, 500 kV transformer was successfully developed. In 2008, 750 kV transformer plant was successfully constructed. In 2009, 750 kV transformer was successfully developed. Subsequently, 400 kV shunt reactors, 1,000 kV transformer and 1,000 kV autotransformer, ±400 kV, ±800 kV converter transformer, and 1,100 kV shunt reactors were successively developed, to make sure that we caught the great development opportunities when State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) developed UHV. Along with the development of China’s power grid construction, constantly climbing UHV peak, SPECO realized great-leap-forward development. In November 2017, the first test of 18 converter transformers for Zhalute- Qingzhou and Shanghaimiao-Shandong DC power transmission project succeeded. In April 2018, the first test of 10 converter transformers for Changji- Guquan DC power transmission project succeeded. In April 2019, the first test of 5 converter transformer in Zhangbei flexible DC project succeeded, which set a world record in the world electrical equipment manufacturing industry. It was the first time that the first tests of 33 converter transformers succeeded at once. Internationally, closely following the pace of China’s One Belt and One Road, we left our footprints in more than 40 countries over the four continents including Asia, Africa, Europe and America. So far, a total of 615 transformers have been exported, with a sales volume of over USD 720 million (RMB 5 billion).