by Magdalena Stoczek, Chen Xu
KOZIENICE, Poland, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- Working on a construction site in the snow-covered dense forest in Poland and unable to return home for Chinese Lunar New Year in the past five years, Dong Zifeng, a Chinese engineer, said they must establish Chinese enterprises' reputation for high quality.
Located in the southeastern part of Poland, Kozienice Power Station is the second-largest substation in Poland, which provides more than half of the electricity supply for the capital Warsaw. In 2014, the Pinggao Group of China won the bid to reconstruct the plant, and is expected to complete the project by the end of September this year.
The Chinese workers were still working on the project on the eve of the most important festive season in China which falls on Jan. 28 this year, also known as the Spring Festival.
After a two-hour drive from the capital Warsaw, Li Xiao, a project manager from Pinggao Group's Polish branch, and engineer Xu Haoliang arrived at the construction site of the Kozienice Power Station, while snowflakes danced in the air in a temperature close to minus 10 degrees Celsius.
"I've just heard a Polish colleague say Zifeng was still coordinating work on the construction site," Xu said.
Li and Xu put on helmets and boots and carefully went through the icy and muddy path toward the direction where Dong and the Polish engineers were coordinating setting up cables by workers.
Seeing his Chinese colleagues approaching him from afar, Dong excitedly waved to them. All born in the 1980s, the three young men tightly gripped together their red, frozen hands.
This is the group's second project in the country, with the first being in Zydowo in northern Poland, which is the first power plant contract a Chinese company signed within the European Union (EU).
The Zydowo project fulfilled the EU's requirements and standards and was listed as a national key project by the Polish government, an important milestone in the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa, said Li, manager of the Zydowo project.
"In addition to the project construction, we also helped the local government repair and renovate roads and churches, which helped us win a good reputation among the local people and the authorities. We also organized various cultural activities in cooperation with the Chinese Embassy in Poland, including the Chinese Culture Festival, taiji performance, Chinese teaching, etc.," Li said.
The Pinggao Group has succeeded in inking five power general contract projects in recent years, with a total contract value of 1.5 billion RMB (218.7 million U.S. dollars) by the first half of 2016.
"Next, we will continue to expand our presence in Poland, using the Polish branch as the basis for the Pinggao Group's presence in Europe and the countries along the Belt and Road," Li added.
Back in the office, the three men watched the Spring Festival Gala presented by China Central Television online while eating their lunch. During the first program "Beautiful Chinese New Year," a cheerful song and dance number, the three men couldn't hold back their tears.
Looking at a picture of his nearly two-year-old child, Xu said: "The child was not even one year old when I left. Each time he has just begun to feel familiar with me, I had to leave him. This kind of feeling is hard to put into words."
Dong, who has not been home for five years in a row, said "As a representative of Chinese enterprises 'going global,' we must weave this safety power grid and establish the reputation of Chinese enterprises for best quality here in Poland."