Chapter 27: A Transition Program
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
How to solve the power shortage at the campground in the crater? As early as more than half a month ago, Chen Jin was wracking his brain over this issue. Of course, the best solution was to build a power generating facility in the campground’s periphery. It would solve the power shortage issue. But the cost of this solution would be higher.
Take the example of the wind turbine, the acquisition cost of each watt of energy was around $10. To solve the power shortage at the campground, he currently needed 200 kilowatts. Multiply that number by $10 and the acquisition cost of a wind turbine came up to around $2,000,000. Chen Jin could still afford to pay this little bit of money. The funds from the auctions in Sotheby’s was transferred over two days ago. All the items that he had put up for sale were auctioned off. The total transactions amounted to $15,580,000. Subtracting 10% brokerage fees, about $14,000,000 was transferred to his account. In addition, he had another $80,000 or so as leftover.
Chen Jin had almost $15,000,000 on him now.It was not a big deal taking out $2,000,000 to set up some wind turbines in the surrounding area of the campground to solve the power shortage. However, Chen Jin could not forget that to build a wind turbine, he needed to inject not only funds but labor into the project as well. He would have to single-handedly carry around 10 different components of the generator up to his bedroom on the third floor before squeezing them through the portal in his toilet.
Based on the calculation that the equipment making up one generator weighed 300 kilograms, he would have to transport various items totaling over 5,000 kilograms.
Furthermore, the blades of a wind turbine usually had a length of more than three meters. There were even longer versions at 10, 20, and 30 meters. Some had even more ridiculous lengths at 50 meters. After measuring the lengths of his living room and bedroom, Chen Jin realized that the length of the blade could not exceed four and a half meters. Otherwise, it would not be able to get through the portal.
Besides, even if he successfully transported the wind turbine to the campground, with its complementary power storage equipment, voltage transformer, and a metal pole to support the turbine, he still had to purchase a batch of reinforced concrete to carry out stabilizing work on its foundation. Or else how would the wind turbine work? To sum up, it would a very troublesome matter to build a wind power station in the campground’s surrounding areas!
Moreover, Chen Jin did not know how much time he would spend on this project. Two to three weeks were definitely insufficient. He would also be working like crazy. It would be very busy and tough for him. Hence, Chen Jin felt some hesitation as he thought of these issues. It was so troublesome to build a wind power station. Should he still do it?
Da Li also told Chen Jin that there was actually a large amount of power generating facilities littered all over Haierfa. There were plenty of such facilities in a huge variety, including those for hydropower, wind power, thermal power, nuclear power, and so on. He only had to increase the range of his exploration and he would certainly find an abandoned power generating facility. At that time, he would just have to fix one facility and the power shortage would be resolved.
Take, for example, Fort Worth City to the north, which had a thermal power station and a number of wind generator units. While he was fixing the power generating facility in Fort Worth City, he would pull another power cable into the campground. Thus, the power shortage would be firmly resolved.
“All right!” Nodding his head, Chen Jin said, “For now, I won’t do wind turbines! I’ll explore the surrounding areas first and see if there’s any power generating facilities that are already present in the local area for me to use.” The problem was that power was needed urgently at the campground right now. He had to immediately increase the total power output, otherwise the regular exploration tasks would be impacted. It would seriously reduce the efficiency of the exploration process.
The power shortage issue was now at a critical stage where he had to take action. If not, the robots queueing beside the charging post would wait till the point that even their standby battery power were depleted.
After some thought, Chen Jin came up with a compromised plan. He would take the high efficiency batteries back to Earth. By renting a factory building and using some industrial grade circuits with a high power output, he would charge the batteries in the building.
This way, he could use “electrical power for industrial purposes” as a cover. Even if he used 10,000 kilowatts per hour of electricity each month, the staff at the electrical power department would still not uncover any issues. Moreover, he was allowed to install high voltage cables in the use of industrial electricity. He could choose from 360V, 480V, or even more than 1000V even if it was highly dangerous. It would provide greater charging power and reduce the charging time! He considered all of these various advantages.
On the morning of the second day, Chen Jin drove his Mom’s BMW mini to Bao Shan Industrial Park. (Mom’s department outfitted her with a company car. She only drove her personal car on her days off).
Bao Shan Industrial Park was very close to Happiness Court, separated by a distance of less than 10 kilometers. Travel was convenient, as the roads were wide and there were usually little cars. He could reach it with a 10 minute drive. The industrial park was also one of the earliest ones built within Shang Hai City. It had a history of over 60 years and was basically the same age as the republic.
Within the industrial park were large-scale steel factories, thermal power factories, ship building factories, aircraft manufacturing factories, and more. It was a famous heavy industrial manufacturing hub.
Chen Gang worked in this park for a company that manufactured commercial passenger airliners. Within his company, he held the position of Assistant Chief Engineer in the Department of Landing Gear Development. It was very likely that he could become the Chief Engineer in the future. This was a position that could occasionally land him some airtime in “News Series.” Although Chen Gang’s work was in the background, he had shown his face twice in the news program, including once where he posed in a photo with the top senior in his company. His family was very happy and proud of him. Compared to the accomplishments of his father, Chen Jin could only hang his head in shame.
Although there were many large state enterprises that had been established for decades with staff numbering in the tens of thousands located in the industrial park, there were also many that had been shut down in the State Enterprises Restructuring Program in the 90’s. In addition, the economic situation was not good in recent years. Hence, there were even more small and medium enterprises that collapsed.
Within the park were plenty of abandoned or closed-down factory buildings. Chen Jin sought out the manager of the park and requested to rent a small factory to start his business. The manager was pleased but had to reject his request after finding out that Chen Jin did not meet the conditions. It was because Chen Jin had no business experience, no registered company, no technical background, and definitely no responsible third party who was acting as the guarantor. Hence, the manager could not approve his request.
In order to get the rights, Chen Jin let his father, Chen Gang, to come forth and act as the company’s legal representative. Chen Jin became the company’s executive manager and was in charge of the logistics. Using this method, he was successfully qualified to rent a small factory building that measured about 200 square meters. Also, he was able to enjoy the subsidies offered by the industrial park. He only had to pay an annual rent of $100,000 for the first three years.
After renting the factory, inside the steel sheet factory, Chen Jin also got an electrician to install two cables comprised of industrial grade circuits that could conduct 360V and 480V of electricity respectively. This was in addition to the normal 220V circuit. He also installed 100 charging ports that could all be utilized to charge 100 high efficiency batteries at the same time.
In order to maintain its secrecy, he put Da Qiang in charge of charging and replacing the batteries in the sealed-off “charging factory.” Chen Jin snuck Da Qiang into the factory and made him responsible for managing the precious high efficiency batteries. In addition, Chen Jin hired a guard, paying him a salary of $3,000 a month to watch over the building’s entrance. He was responsible for preventing strangers from entering the factory and formed the first line of defense in the perimeter.
The person who applied was a man by the surname of Qin. He was a 65 year old elderly man who was full of vigour and was frequently addressed as “Uncle Qin.” Chen Jin hired “Uncle Qin” because he had more than 20 years of experience as a guard, was not involved in any shady dealings, and had a good reputation. Moreover, Uncle Qin was all alone in the world and had no children. He was illiterate and could not make sense of profound topics, which was even more reassuring.
A monthly salary of $3,000 was the highest that he was offered in his many long years of working. He could not help but grin from ear to ear in happiness. The artless Uncle Qin exclaimed, “It’s too much! Young man, you’re giving me too high of a salary, $2,000 is enough!”
“Uncle Qin, $3,000 per month is not too much. Accept it with ease of heart. You can save more for your retirement fund. When you’re older, you won’t have to worry. If you do a good job, I’ll give you a raise and a bonus at the end of the year!”
A raise? Year end bonus? Uncle Qin was stunned as he heard these alien terms. Then, he started tearing up. “Young man, I can’t have this. I’m just a guard and not worth such a high salary. Being almost 70, it’s hard to find a job and I was still thinking; I would work for some food and a bit of allowance. I never thought to meet such a generous young man.” Uncle Qin, who had a face full of wrinkles and half a head of white hair, muttered to himself, “Ah…I hope this young man’s enterprise becomes successful and I can keep working at this factory….”