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The city of Qingdao, an economic hub in Shandong Province, has an ambitious objective: become a low-carbon city. This project supported by AFD will consequently develop a gas-fired trigeneration power plant. The project aims to reduce carbon intensity and local pollutant emissions in the city and promote innovative power generation technologies in response to the sustainable development challenges.

China is faced with rapid urbanization which leads to a sharp increase in the energy footprint of cities, local pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. The Chinese Government is addressing these issues by promoting the diversification of its primary energy sources, in order to reduce dependency on coal, as well as energy efficiency in industry and urban services.

In this context, the city of Qingdao, the main economic hub in Shandong Province, is part of an ambitious program to develop low-carbon cities. This program provides for the development of decentralized energy systems. It involves efficient small-scale power plants supplied by clean or low-carbon energies and providing several forms of energy (electricity, steam, heat, cooling) to a group of users (residential, services and industries) in a concentrated area. Natural gas-fired decentralized energy is particularly suited to China’s energy situation and has benefited from a rapid development of the regulatory context in recent years.


The project involves developing a natural gas-fired combined cycle trigeneration power plant with an installed capacity of 86 MW. Trigeneration is a system which simultaneously generates and uses electrical energy, mechanical energy and thermal energy. This power plant will supply electricity, steam, heat and cooling to companies and commercial and residential buildings in the Gaoxin high-tech area in the north of Qingdao.

The construction of the power plant will allow four coal-fired boiler systems currently in service in the area to be demolished. All the electricity generated by the new power plant will be consumed by users in the Gaoxin area. It will contribute to replacing coal with natural gas in power generation. The project consequently contributes to improving the energy mix at the provincial and national levels.

  • Improvement in public energy supply services (electricity, heat and cooling) in Qingdao by using an innovative and efficient technology to meet growing needs related to urban sprawl and reduce grid losses;
  • Annual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of 260,000 t CO2;
  • Replacing coal with natural gas divides nitrogen dioxide (NOx) emissions by three and eliminates sulphur dioxide (SO2), dust and particulate emissions.
Project start date
Financing tool
20 000 000
Financing amount
Kaiyuan Group