iChongqing Title

From Waste to Energy | China's Smart City


Chongqing- With daily waste recycled, flying ash solidified, slag burned into bricks, and heat generated into electric power, the intelligent waste-to-energy (WTE) scenarios of Chongqing Sanfeng Covanta Environmental Industry Co., Ltd (Sanfeng Covanta) contribute to a greener China and a healthier world.

With 51 projects and a daily capacity of 56,000 tons, Sanfeng Covanta is a pioneer in China's WTE industry. "We specialize in engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contracting, equipment manufacturing, and operation management services for WTE projects," stated Kevin Lu, deputy director of overseas business of Sanfeng Covanta, during the exclusive interview with iChongqing on August 4. 

Empowering "smart city" with intelligent WTE project

According to Lu, waste-to-energy refers to transforming municipal solid waste into electricity through high-temperature combustion and using the waste heat generated to generate power. To achieve the harmlessness, reduction, and recycling of domestic waste, flue gases and ash are treated harmlessly.

"During their daily lives, everyone produces municipal solid waste. But maybe they never think about how to treat these wastes," said Lu. "Each household will be connected to a transfer center, and the waste will be treated at WTE facilities in plants."

As China's first localized WTE demonstration project, Sanfeng built the Chongqing Tongxing WTE plant in 2002 in a build-operate-transfer (BOT) mode. Sanfeng invested 100 million yuan (14.8 million U.S. dollars) in 2007 to build the world's largest domestic waste incinerator assembly base.

Sanfeng Covanta

Kevin Lu, deputy director of the overseas business of Sanfeng Covanta, accepted an exclusive interview with iChongqing on August 4. (iChongqing/ Wang Yiling)

Lu witnessed Chongqing's continued investment in environmental protection and promotion of green development over the past decade. With 15 WTE plants built successively, there is a daily treatment capacity of roughly 19,000 tons of municipal waste, resulting in 100% waste reduction, recycling, and harmless disposal.

He believes that Chongqing will implement more environmental policies in the future. "That will benefit the lives of people in Chongqing with a green and comfortable environment," he added. 

WTE technology innovation specializing in domestic waste

According to Lu, WTE was initially funded in western countries, especially in Europe. In particular, Seghers from Belgium, VonRoll from Denmark, and Hitachi Zosen from Japan are all well-versed in WTE technology.

"They have a complete industry chain and the technology to treat emissions and protect the environment," he said. 

Sanfeng Covanta

The factory of Sanfeng Covanta. (iChongqing/ Wang Yiling)

Initially, domestic WTE mostly used imported grate. "In 2000, Sanfeng Covanta introduced an entire process of German Martin WTE technology and flue gas purification technology," said Lu. "We did a lot of studies to make the technology more adaptable to China's waste industry."

Through technological improvement and re-innovation, the technological system invented by Sanfeng Covanta can better adapt to the characteristics of domestic waste, reduce project investment costs, and promote the development of the domestic WTE industry.

Besides, this technology has also been widely used in eight foreign countries, including America, Germany, India, Thailand, and Vietnam, with a leading market share in the industry.

"We have conducted local investigations and innovation of the technology since waste, and environmental conditions in western regions differ from those in China," said Lu.

He continued that based on those sample countries, Sanfeng Covanta is also targeting the South and Southeast Asia markets, which are developing faster and have a greater need for waste energy.

(Ge Rongchen, as an intern, also contributed to this report.)


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