Founded in October 2005, Qaidam Circular Economy Pilot Zone is one of the first 13 circular economy pilot zones in China. Largest of its kind, the pilot zone is the only one located in the areas inhabited by ethnic groups in the Qaidam Basin on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
With a planning area of 256,000 square meters, it is composed of the Golmud Industrial Park, the Delingha Industrial Park, the Da Qaidam Industrial Park and the Ulan Industrial Park.
It has been forming an industrial system dominated by the seven industries of salt chemicals, oil and gas, nonferrous metals, coal chemicals, new materials, new energy and biology. The construction of its two 100-billion-yuan ($14.49 billion) industrial bases at the Kunlun Mountains and the Qarhan Salt Lake, and its four 50-billion-yuan industrial bases in Delingha, Da Qaidam, Ulan county and Dulan county has started.
From January to August of 2018, the zone received a total paid-in investment of 6.50 billion yuan, of which 4.16 billion yuan was funds for projects signed in 2016 and 2017, and 2.32 billion yuan was for projects signed in 2018.