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urban landscape, city of Zibo, China
China’s energy is mainly based on coal, an energy which has negative impacts on the environment. This project located in Zibo, an industrial hub based on coal mining, is using innovation for sustainable urban development. The objective is to reduce carbon intensity, greenhouse gas emissions and local pollutants, while promoting innovative power generation technologies.

China is facing 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 challenges by implementing an energy policy focused on diversifying its primary energy sources, in order to reduce coal dependency, and on promoting energy efficiency. One of the solutions considered is the recovery of industrial waste heat. Indeed, the energy used in industrial processes is often in the form of steam and is not totally consumed. Part of it can be recovered to produce heat, electricity and cooling. This resource can be mobilized on a massive scale in China in cities with a strong industrial vocation.


The project involves rehabilitating and extending heat networks in the city of Zibo in order to supply a heating area of some 15 million m2. These networks will be supplied by three heat sources (a cogeneration power plant and two power plants) and the project includes the construction of recovery systems using absorption heat pumps. A number of coal-fired boilers currently in service in the city will also be demolished or stopped under the project.

In addition, the project provides for the rehabilitation of existing heat networks in order to improve their energy efficiency by replacing steam with hot water as a heat transfer fluid and by network automation.

  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 23,900 t CO2 a year;
  • Reduction of emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2), dust and particulates thanks to the dismantling of existing boiler systems;
  • Reduction of water consumption of some 900,000 m3a year thanks to the transformation of steam networks into hot water networks and industrial heat recovery;
  • A project fully in line with the central government’s objectives to promote low-carbon cities and with the national and local policy to combat air pollution.
Project start date
Zibo, Shandong
Financing tool
25 600 000
Financing amount
Zibo local authorities