Tianjin’s Eco-CBD to become a regional hub for cleantech companies
Alliance of 11 companies to take EV ownership to 90% in eco-city
Being the largest integrated eco-city project in the world, Tianjin Eco-City is a magnet for technology players wishing to test-bed new technologies or cutting-edge products in a real-life environment.
Such technological collaborations showcase the eco-city’s position as a “living lab” for eco-solutions where companies can conduct last-mile commercialisation for their products. The Eco-Central Business District (Eco-CBD) is where most of the action is.
Master developer SSTEC has signed on a number of companies and is negotiating with more multinationals, which see the eco-city as a springboard to similar projects in China and the rest of Asia. These are some of the companies offering their best technologies:
This Japanese technology giant is focusing on its smart city business, which has been demonstrated in several countries around the world. In Tianjin Eco-City, it will:
• Develop a building energy management system (BEMS) for the Eco-CBD
• Introduce the community energy management system (CEMS) for efficiently controlling energy within
a local area
• Introduce the home energy management system (HEMS) in condominiums, reportedly in collaboration with Panasonic which is now aggressive on HEMS. The system will be deployed in 450 residential homes in the Sheng Jing residential development – a joint venture of SSTEC, Mitsui Fudosan Residential Co Ltd and Tiong Seng Properties Pte Ltd – allowing residents to track their energy consumption patterns so they can use energy more efficiently.
These smart grid systems will embrace solar photovoltaics and other renewable energy and storage batteries. This is the first time Hitachi is using the system in a large city.
Hitachi’s track record includes a residential smart grid demonstration project at Rokkasho Village in Aomori Prefecture, Japan. The village has the world’s first wind power station equipped with large storage batteries. It also has a smart grid demo in the US state of New Mexico, and is conducting a feasibility study in the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor in India.
This Dutch multinational has a contract to provide energy-efficient lighting solutions for the Landmark Building in the Eco-Business Park, having done three lighting test-bed projects in the building as well as at the GEMS International School. One of these is the lighting-on-demand system where video sensors (instead of motion sensors) are installed to detect human presence at 20 lamp posts.
Philips (China) Investment Co Ltd will shift its Tianjin head office to the Tianjin Eco-City’s Eco Business Park and build it as its regional base.
New Energy Vehicle Alliance
This grouping of 11 international and local companies aims to achieve an electric vehicle (EV) ownership rate of 90% of all vehicles in the eco-city by 2020. It includes the following players:
• Hitachi will help create an EV hub that provides EV charging, rental and other services. The scope of work includes the development of systems for managing EV positioning, an emergency vehicle management system and a car-sharing system.
• General Motors (GM) will introduce the next generation of electric-networked vehicle (EN-V). The zero-emission EN-V aims to tackle problems like traffic congestion, parking, air quality and affordability.
• Chinese carmaker Chery is to collaborate on the EV hub investments and services, including bundling Chery EVs with the sale of eco-homes.
• Tianjin Electric Power Corporation will develop a charging infrastructure system to support the use of EVs.
Other signatories include Xiamen King Long and ST Kinetics.
Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering)
ST Engineering is installing a pneumatic waste collection system (PWCS) at the Eco Business Park that will allow tenants and residents to enjoy cleaner and odourless waste disposal. The system is accompanied by a garbage sorting system and does away with garbage collection trucks. It does however, have some detractors who feel the low-carbon benefits are debatable.
Siemens Ltd China, Corporate Technology (Siemens)
Together with several other companies, this German giant signed a memorandum of understanding in September last year with SSTEC to collaborate and participate in the research and development of new green technologies, and develop sustainable and practical solutions for the Eco-CBD in areas such as green buildings, alternative transport solutions, connectivity, pollution, congestion and energy efficiency.
Room for many players in the business ecosystem
Artist impression of the Low-Carbon Living Lab that will house companies growing green solutions that can be scaled up. Located in Eco Business Park, it will be the first dual-Platinum (GBES and Singapore BCA Green Mark) low-carbon building in the eco-city. Its green features include: (1) Green lungs and green skins interspersed within the building (2) Intelligent lighting system and comprehensive energy management system (3) Rooftop solar thermal, solar PV panels, mini wind turbines (4) Light pipes, basement skylight, shading devices and light shelves (5) Rainwater collection and water-efficient strategies. Design and project management are by Jurong Consultants Pte Ltd (Singapore) (photo credit: SSTEC)
Some of the 500 companies that are setting up base in Tianjin Eco-City include:
• Pan Asian Water Manufacturing
(Tianjin) Co Ltd (PAW): It will set up its China headquarters and key manufacturing base in the Eco-Industrial Park. The facility will consolidate its manufacturing operations in China and serve its growing global needs and markets. In addition, this will serve as its global logistics and warehousing hub, R&D centre, and control centre for brand building and marketing for Duvalco products. The total investment is 100 million yuan (US$15.7 million). PAW is a subsidiary of Pan Asian Holdings Limited, a Singapore Exchange-listed quality pipe and valve manufacturer.
• LHT Holdings: This manufacturer of eco wood products listed on the Singapore Exchange will establish a wood waste recycling plant in the Eco-Industrial Park to manufacture and assemble eco wood products. LHT Holdings’ products will help developers in the eco-city achieve the Green Building Evaluation Standard (GBES) through the use of recycled materials in their buildings. This is the company’s first manufacturing facility in China.
• SITO Jia Hua (Beijing) Investment
Co Ltd (SITO): It will invest 130 million yuan in the Eco Business Park and set up an ecological demonstration base, which will include its regional office, an R&D centre for solar PV, solar thermal power generation and biomass power generation. SITO will also act as a multiplier and use this platform to bring its portfolio of companies into the eco-city and its surrounding areas.
• Enersolar New Energy
Technologies Pte Ltd: This solar heating company will be taking up plug-and-play ready-built factory space in the Eco-Industrial Park to assemble and provide renewable energy and solar thermal systems for the eco-city.