The Summer of Our Lives

Summertime brings a ray of sunshine into the lives of CLP employees in the northern hemisphere. Throughout the year, we work around the clock to keep our systems performing perfectly. At this time of year, we play hard and work hard, taking advantage of the sunshine and school holidays to enjoy an exciting range of fun activities. Meanwhile in Australia, where summer is a still a few months away, we took the opportunity to lay on a very warm treat for our customers.

Making waves

The CLP dragon boat teams got a good work out in the Long March event in Sai Kung and also built long-lasting team spirit

In Hong Kong, summer is a time to hit the water and escape the heat – and every year, seven CLP Dragon Boat teams take part in a 13-kilometer expedition along the coast of Sai Kung called the Long March.

On the early morning of 23 June, following a full safety briefing, about 100 CLP employees including a team of senior managers set off from Sai Sha Wan in five dragon boats for the three-hour journey.

CLP Dragon Boat Alliance team member Leung Ming Yan says she enjoyed the Long March because it gives her a strong sense of companionship and is different from races which emphasise speed. “In the Long March, we are literally all in the same boat,” she says. “We encourage each other to keep going and share jokes and laughter as we paddle.”

Yam Chi Bun, who helped organise the adventure, says the Long March is all about team spirit and a shared passion for Dragon Boating.

“When we are out at sea, we have a strong feeling that we are together as a team, and this is what keeps us going and overcoming the challenges,” he says.

For both Yan and Chi Bun, there was a mouth-watering incentive to overcome the waves and currents… a delicious seafood lunch waiting for them at the end of the Long March. “We were so hungry after paddling for three hours,” Yan smiles. “We cleaned up every dish on the table and it felt really good.”

A night at the Opera

Summer in Hong Kong is winter in Australia, and a perfect opportunity to extend a warm embrace to customers.

Over four nights in early June, 29 selected customers and their guests were treated to dazzling performances at the Sydney Opera House by American singer Solange Knowles and New Zealand musician Neil Finn as part of a concert series celebrating ambitious popular music.

EnergyAustralia customers were thrilled by the performance at Sydney Opera House and even more excited by the backstage visits

Each night, two customers and their guests were chosen as part of an EnergyAustralia Facebook campaign to promote energy efficiency in winter. Their reward is a surprise backstage experience where they got a glimpse of the inner workings of the iconic venue.

One of the customers, Ryan, says: “I was speechless. It wasn’t just the glamour of all the shows but it was also very interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes. We normally only see the front of the show, but it’s much more technical back there. I now appreciate all the hard work, not only from the artists but all the people involved in every performance here.”

EnergyAustralia entered into a two-year partnership with the Sydney Opera House in April last year aimed at helping the venue meet its sustainability goals. EnergyAustralia will apply the technology developed through the partnership to help homes across Australia use energy in ways that are smarter, more efficient, and more sustainable.

A birthday fit for a King

Li Muwen, who works at the Huaiji Hydro Power Station in Mainland China’s Guangdong province, had wanted to visit Xiashuai Village for a long time. The village is the only ethnic minority village in the Zhaoqing area and is known for its colourful and unique cultures and customs.

So when Li heard that the village would celebrate the Ox King Birthday – its equivalent of the Chinese New Year festival – he called up several colleagues and made plans for a day trip to Xiashuai.

Li Muwen (second from left) of Huaiji Hydro Power Station in Guangdong learns more about the community he serves after attending an Ox King birthday celebration

The group left Huaiji by car in the morning and reached the village about an hour before lunch. As they got closer to the village, they could feel the excitement in the air as people streamed in from all directions.

There were already over 1,000 people at the village’s central square when they arrived. The festival started soon afterwards and the villagers, who are mainly of the Zhuang ethnic group, performed traditional dances to pay tribute to their gods and ancestors. The Ox King dance is an ancient ritual by the Zhuang peoples to thank the oxen who farm their land and was followed by a parade through the village’s main street.

“It was the first time I had seen the Ox King Birthday celebrations and it was a real eye-opener to me. Understanding the local culture helps us build closer relationships with the community,” Li says. “It was really fascinating to see the customs of the Zhuang people, and all of us enjoyed the big feast after the parade.”

Playing through the rain barrier

While most outdoor sports take a break during the summer months in India, our cricket teams have continued practising to prepare for the annual CLP cricket tournament to be held in February every year.

The Jhajjar Jaguars display CLP India’s spirit of doing the best they can on the cricket pitch

The Jhajjar Jaguars, one of the four CLP cricket teams, used their home cricket ground at the power plant to carry on practising until the monsoon started.

“The key is not the will to win – everybody has that,” explains team captain Bhupesh Janoti. “What is important is the will to prepare to win. My team believes in performing in such a way that we become unforgettable at the end of the tournament.”

The Jaguars continued to practise until June and are already drawing up strategies to beat the other three teams in February’s tournament. Their top strategy is simple but effective, says Bhupesh – to get out there and have the most fun on the field.

“It’s not about how much talent you have. It’s more about how much passion you display and about who can go out there and play the hardest,” he says.

One of the other teams, the Wind Wizards – made up of cricketers from CLP India’s wind and solar projects – doesn’t have the benefit of a cricket ground for regular matches like the Jaguars. But its team members still bond well and play hard during matches.

Team member Mayuri Badu says their secret is to play with the excitement they had when they played cricket as children and not to be too concerned about winning or losing.

“We don’t get a chance to practise a lot before the matches because our team is dispersed across different sites but somehow we are in sync on the field,” Mayuri says. “We love the chance to play together because it allows us to harness our team spirit beyond work. We bond over shared jokes, team strategies, the disappointment of losing matches, and the elation of winning a few. We enjoy every match as if we were kids.”