Elstow solar farm project caught up in forced labor issues Bedford News

Bedford City Council said it was aware that Jinko Sola was being sued, but added that its contractors had undertaken a thorough due diligence process to ensure that none of the products and materials supplied to the board came from a source where the use of forced labor existed.

In June 2021, the Biden administration announced three actions in response to the labor practices of companies operating in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

This included an immediate suspension order (WRO) by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on silica products manufactured by Xinjiang-based Hoshine Silicon Industry Co. Ltd. and its subsidiaries.

Solar panels. Getty pictures.

As Hoshine is said to be the world’s largest producer of silicon metal, the WRO has had a widespread impact on the solar panel industry.

It was widely reported that solar panels made by Jinko Solar were among those seized by CBP in June.

A CBP spokesperson said, “The WRO applies to downstream products incorporating the silica-based components as inputs, regardless of where they are produced.

“Among the wide range of products covered by the Hoshine WRO is metallurgical grade silicon, a silica-based product used in the production of solar panels.”

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A Borough Council spokesman said: ‘The solar project is being delivered for Bedford Borough Council by a UK contractor, Vital Energi, who has [sic] a modern slavery policy that applies to the UK and the supply chain.

“Vital Energy has [sic] hired a supplier to supply the solar panels. The supplier and manufacturer of the solar panels is the Jinko group of companies and its subsidiaries.

“The policies and statements of the Jinko Group apply to their operations in the UK and overseas.

“Jinko Solar’s policies confirm that they are fully committed to conducting their business in a legal and ethical manner, including engaging with suppliers who also respect human rights, providing safe and inclusive workplaces and promoting a sustainable future.”

Last year the UK government said it was investigating complaints of forced labour.

A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: ‘We have strong measures in place to ensure that UK businesses and the public sector are not complicit in breaches or abuses human rights in Xinjiang.

“We are thoroughly investigating reports of forced labor in the global solar panel supply chain, and we reiterate our call on all UK companies to ensure their supply chains are free of labour. strength.”

The UK government said it had led international efforts to hold China to account for its human rights abuses in Xinjiang at the UN.

Adding that he imposed sanctions including asset freezes and travel bans on senior Chinese officials.

Jinko Solar responded “without comment” when asked by the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) whether the company was now free to export to the United States and whether its Malaysian factory (where the council said its solar panels were manufactured) used integrated components. China.

CBP said it does not comment on individual companies.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-29 16:31:32

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