Meeting China´s need for security and the environment

With a massive economic growth in China, the country experiences increasing challenges with pollution and an ecosystem on the edge of collapse. Norwegian maritime environmental technology and safety standards could help China to a sustainable development.

 

Innovation Norway promotes nationwide industrial services and consulting in order to develop profitable businesses for the industrial sector and Norway’s national economy. This helps to release the potential of different districts and regions by contributing towards innovation, internationalization and promotion.
 
As an integral part of these efforts, Innovation Norway supports maritime development programmes to improve the environment, and the cleaning of ballast water could be an example. Innovation Norway has dealt a lot with marine environmental programs in China together with the Norwegian company Ocean Saver and Det Norske Veritas (DNV) for efficient ballast water treatment and reduced corrosion.
 
Oddbjørn Clausen, Manager of the Programme for Industrial Research and Development (IFU in Norwegian), has been involved in the project from Innovation Norway. The IFU has a budget of NOK 250 billion (USD 39 billion) for 2008.
 
“We have supported several phases regarding the development of new technology and solutions for the cleaning of ballast water, and Ocean Saver has won many prizes for their technology,” says Clausen explaining that the industry and Innovation Norway work together to create innovative environmental solutions, and they are involved in substantial projects for industrial research and development programmes.
 
Berge Stahl, operated by BW Shipping, is the largest bulk carrier cargo ship in the world, weighing in at a massive 364,768 dwt.
BW Shipping is currently building two Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC) in China weighing in at 320,000 dwt each ready for delivery in the spring of 2008.
© BW Gas

“Norwegian technology and development companies can apply for grants from the IFU based on a partnership between the companies and Innovation Norway. We want to assist in developing the technology into a viable market,” Clausen says.
 
OceanSaver seeks to position itself as supplier of entire ballast water systems for Chinese ship yards, and OceanSaver’s Technical Director, Gunnar Bærheim is confident that their technology will be successful.
 
“We want to deliver entire systems, and at the moment we are in the process of building our brand name in China,” Bærheim says adding that cooperation with DNV is important to make sure that OceanSaver’s products are certified to meet strict environmental demands and IMO regulations. DNV has 300 offices in 100 different countries, and the Chinese markets are also important for DNV.
 
It is important for DNV to be present in the Chinese market to guarantee safety and to ensure that environmental standards are being followed. DNV has been contracted to class two new 320,000 dwt supertankers for BW Shipping. The VLCCs (Very Large Crude Carriers) will be the largest tankers ever built in China and the first built there to follow the common structural rules.
 
Tor E. Svensen, DNV Maritime’s Chief Operating Officer, was on hand in Beijing for the signing ceremony. “Given DNV’s interests in China and our long experience with the Chinese shipbuilding industry, we are delighted to be classifying these vessels in China. Both will be classed by DNV and are expected to be delivered between 2009 and 2010,” he comments to DNV.com
 
The specifications for the ships were jointly developed between Singapore-based BW Shipping, Bohai Shipyard and DNV, according to Bjørn K. Haugland, DNV Maritime’s regional manager for the Greater China area. “These ships will have a groundbreaking new vessel design and are the first set of VLCCs in China with the new common structural rules for double hull oil tankers,” Haugland states to DNV.com
 
Public - Private Cooperation
An innovative approach, achieved with significant cooperation between the public and private sectors, as well as the recognition that Norwegian companies both big and small have to work together to crack the Chinese market and must innovate to thrive there.
 
Central to these efforts is the Norwegian Energy and Environment Consortium (NEEC), which through Innovation Norway’s Beijing office at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in China represents close to 100 enterprises through networks and company memberships, including some of Norway’s top companies, such as ELKEM, Aker Kvaerner and Statoil and groups such as the SINTEF Group, which is Northern Europe’s largest private research institute.
 
The demand is clearly there. China is choking on pollution emitted by the coal-fired power plants that provide the lion’s share of its energy needs. Beijing is worried about air quality ahead of next year’s Olympic Games in the capital and in regional cities around the country; authorities are scratching their heads trying to come up with a solution for the poisoned skies. China is the world’s second largest energy producer and consumer, after the USA, with coal and crude oil as the largest energy sources.
 
In strategic terms, Vibeke Skaiaa, NEEC Coordinator and Innovation Norway’s Environmental Projects Manager in Beijing, says the market has been good so far for larger companies, with ever more small and medium enterprises (SME) coming into the Chinese market.
 
China is a vast country with spectacular nature and ancient history, and now the Chinese want Norwegian technology to protect tomorrows’ environment.
© Georg Finsrud, CWN

Clean & Green Natural Gas
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is establishing research cooperation with top Chinese universities that could have long-term implications for the use of Norwegian technology.
 
Professor Ruzhu Wang is director of the Institute of Refrigeration and Cryogenics at Jiaotong University in Shanghai. Natural gas is a green and efficient source of energy that is more price competitive than oil and liquefied petroleum gas and is therefore being actively promoted by the Chinese government. Prof Wang works extensively with gas technology and natural gas is set to play an important part in the energy system in the region around Shanghai.
 
Jiaotong University is strongly involved in finding ways to best utilize liquid natural gas in the future, and Statoil, Elkem and IM Skaugen (Shanghai) are involved on the industrial side.
 
“Norway is thought to be the best organized country for renewable development,” states Professor Wang.     
 
“Norway is a country rich in energy, but it is also a country that uses energy efficiently. The environment in Norway is quite good. China can learn from Norway’s experiences in handling these subjects,” Wang says.
 
The Chinese are interested in learning how to get the natural gas from the deep sea, liquefy the gas on sea platforms and transport it long distances. After this comes the efficient use of liquid natural gas (LNG), reliquefaction and, increasingly, how to handle CO2 emissions.
 
Professor Wang’s main areas of interest are in LNG technology, including combined cooling, heating and power systems, as well as refrigeration and heat pumps and sees rich rewards for Norwegian companies working in China.
 
“The market for Norwegian energy products and environmental technology in China is just at the starting point,” he says.
 
Implementing the Kyoto Protocol
China is keen for projects to help enact the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol, and there is a large demand for CDM project development competence and sale of Certified Emission Reductions from CDM projects.
 
Water quality is falling at a fast pace, leaving millions stuck without clean water. Increasingly, the government recognizes the need to do something before the situation becomes politically destabilizing, and it has introduced legislation such as the Renewable Energy Law two years ago to try and help.
 
“Now is the right time as China has just introduced the Renewable Energy Law, and it is also trying to deal with CO2 emissions. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) and renewable energy are good solutions for China,” the professor states.
 
Underlining the importance of the Chinese market for Norway, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg led a business delegation on a visit to China in March of 2007, which led to Innovation Norway setting up two initiatives under the “Energy Management Programme for China”. In the wake of the visit, Hans Borchsenius was appointed as the coordinator for energy recovery and CDM project development in the ferroalloy industry in China.
 
“Our prime minister declared Norwegian interest in contributing to improved energy efficiency in China, and that Norway is interested in purchasing carbon credits in China to fulfil our Kyoto obligations,” says Borchsenius.
 
China is interested in learning more about the utilization and liquefaction of natural gas from the deep sea and the transport of it over long distances. IM Skaugen cooperates with Statoil and ELKEM to provide the Chinese with top-notch technology for liquefied petroleum gases (LPG).
© IM Skaugen

Wastewater Treatment
There are several Norwegian companies operating in the field of water and wastewater treatment. Some CWN companies have also done business in China for many years. This includes Malthe Winje, Anox Kaldnes and several others.
 
“China is developing at a furious pace – including in the field of water treatment. This large country has many challenges: dry areas in the north, where water shortage is the largest problem, to the more water favourable areas in the south (where pollution represents the greatest challenge),” says Georg Finsrud, who was made chairman of CWN in 2007.
 
“It is the aim of CWN that its member organizations may gain access to a larger share of the Chinese market through increased collaboration. This could be done by several companies bidding for projects under the CWN umbrella. Not only would this increase market access, but also provide customers with the best solutions at a very competitive price,” says Finsrud. He has been working as a consultant in Norway and China for 11 years, including two years with the Norwegian Peace Corps in China.
 
Currently his work involves controlling and automation systems Malthe Winje Automation. One focus for CNW’s efforts in China is on developing water treatment solutions in a small rural city. China’s National People’s Congress, the annual parliament, has agreed to support efforts to improve sanitation conditions in smaller rural communities of between 500 and 10,000 people. This is a huge number of projects in a country of 1.3 billion people, most of whom live in the countryside. Existing situations are poor and few communities already have treatment plants.
 
The challenge with these projects is in making them economically acceptable, and the aim is to provide treated water to the population, industry and agriculture, as well as the treatment of waste water and sludge handling, and recycling of resources.
 
“This means that we should think of ‘new solutions’. The project must identify an overall solution for a targeted village that can serve as a demonstration for other cities. The demonstration will then include existing Norwegian treatment technology and competence,” the CWN chairman states.
 
China is urbanizing at a ferocious pace, and the clouds over Hong Kong are often dark. New technology is needed.
© Øyvind Hagen, Statoil

Ferocious Urbanizing
China is urbanizing at a ferocious pace, with new skyscrapers going up all over the country and apartment buildings housing over 10,000 residents being developed every day. CNW has developed a de-centralized water handling system for these residential constructions, providing secure drinking water, waste water treatment and recycling facilities, just like it does in the countryside.
 
The system involves the use of a separate waste water system (gray/black water) with a vacuum system with water-saving toilets using black water. The black water could be treated, possibly producing bio-soil. The grey water would be treated to be re-used for flushing toilets, washing streets and cars, and for irrigation – for example, making artificial waterways, streams and dams as part of the landscaping process.
 
Finsrud says the concern for CWN was not whether there is a market for the products and services of Norwegian companies, but rather how the companies may best gain access to this market.
 
“Norway is a small country, and many of the companies operating in this field are also relatively small, compared with some of their other European competitors. This is a challenge in China where the scale of projects is much larger than those which Norwegian companies are used to,” said Finsrud.

 

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