Climate Smart Water in Action at Shanghai’s Industrial Park

Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (SCIP) is located in the south of Shanghai, north of Hangzhou Bay, with a managed area of 29.4 km2. It is one of the largest integrated petrochemical bases in China. Shanghai Chemical Industry Park Sino-French Water Development Co., Ltd. provides water supply and wastewater treatment services to SCIP, ensuring quality utility services for all the customers in the park.

In 2021, SCIP established a sustainable development task force to address climate change, in line with the Chinese government and shareholder policy requirements. As a provider of industrial and desalinated water in the park, the utility completed the renovation of two water supply loop systems to ensure a stable water supply and  diversify its water portfolio. SCIP has also adopted a smart meter network system where over 200 automatic reading meters and water quality & quantity online sensors are currently in use.

To reduce carbon emissions, the utility has installed photovoltaic panels to generate power for administration buildings, including 0.8MW photovoltaic panels at the industrial water plant with an estimated carbon reduction of 800 tons of CO2 per year. SCIP also promotes the development of the water industry’s response to climate change through technical seminars and training sessions, both online and offline, to share experiences and present good practices. As a water and wastewater utility with a strong sense of social responsibility, SCIP takes an active role in addressing climate change.

SCIP is made up of many enterprises but lacks a uniform water supply and sewage treatment system. Most of the companies there get water from the surrounding residential waterworks, which necessitates the construction of a long water pipeline, high water supply costs, and a disruption to the surrounding residential water supply. Initially, the wastewater plant was not built to have a low carbon footprint. Since most of treated wastewater is industrial, the energy consumption of SCIP is higher compared to municipal wastewater. The lack of green energy use, high carbon emissions from electricity consumption, and the carbon emissions associated with the original process pose a threat to the environment.


Adapting to climate change

As the industrial and desalinated water supply service provider in the park, the utility has completed the renovation of two water supply loop systems in 2019 to ensure stable water supply and diversify the water portfolio. Since 2020, the park has adopted a smart network system that uses over 200 automatic reading meters and water quality & quantity online sensors, along with SUEZ’s patented real-time hydraulic model, entitled Aquadvanced, which is being used to give early warnings and predictions of the water network’s operational status, monitor water loss and non-revenue water, and ensure stable industrial and desalinated water supply.

To encourage water conservation, SCIP established a corporate water-saving incentive policy in 2020. A petrochemical company in SCIP saved 350,000m3 industrial water annually, thus receiving a preferential discount on water price.

SCIPs efforts around wastewater services considers collection, treatment, and monitoring of all types of wastewater. With almost 200 km of water supply and drainage pipelines, the utility ensures that treated wastewater discharged into water bodies does not have a negative environmental impact. The wastewater treatment plant has been equipped with online instrumentations and a team of 50 analysts to monitor water quality at all times.

To cope with dramatic fluctuations in water quality and quantity for upstream customers due to climate change, a 50,000m3 buffer, emergency tank, and by-pass system are in place at the utility’s treatment plant. SCIP believes that equipment maintenance is an important pillar in ensuring compliance and stable operation of the plant. Therefore, they established a comprehensive ISO process for maintenance planning, reviewing, and updating, as well as the using a professional CMMS operation and maintenance system for asset and work order management.


Mitigation actions

SCIP focuses on initiatives to reduce carbon emissions. The industrial water plant of the utility has installed photovoltaic panels to power administration buildings, reducing approximately 800 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

The wastewater plant’s aeration system contributes significantly to carbon emissions. At the end of 2021, SCIP began piloting a scheme to replace surface aeration with bottom aeration, resulting in a 40% reduction in carbon emissions from the aeration system (equivalent to about 700 tons of CO2e per year). The utility also uses Nature-based Solutions (NbS) to reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 2800 tons of CO2e per year by discharging tail water from the treatment plant into the SCIP’s ecological wetland. Lastly, SCIP adopts a circular economy approach by recovering resources and reducing the amount of waste generated. For example, dewatered sludge is used  for landfill at construction sites, and the sludge from wastewater treatment is incinerated for electricity generation.


Communication with citizens

As a socially responsible water and wastewater utility company, SCIP conducts environmental seminars that have attracted over 2,000 industry professionals in the past 10 years, providing a great platform for technical and business exchanges. The utility organises technical seminars and training sessions online and offline in order to share experiences and best practices to address climate change.

In 2022, the utility hosted several workshops on carbon reduction and carbon accounting in the water industry to disseminate relevant knowledge. The achievements in water digitalisation have been recognised with the Smart Project Leading Award in 2018 and the Smart Park Excellent Application Case in 2020 awarded by SCIP. As a result, the company’s success has become a model for the water industry.

SCIP also collaborates with academic institutions such as the Carbon Neutral Research Institute of Tongji University and the East China University of Science and Technology on climate change and carbon reduction projects. It has also signed a collaboration with the Shanghai Academy of Environmental Sciences on carbon field measurement of wastewater treatment plants.

For more information on this climate smart story, contact: Zhou Min


Lessons learned

  • Large chemical parks are suitable for building centralised water supply and drainage facilities
  • Remote water meters in smart pipe networks can save time and resources while providing an effective response to incidents
  • Photovoltaic solutions are a great option for companies in the water industry to reduce their carbon footprint and generate green energy
  • Treatment processes should be updated in line with technological advancements
  • Positive experiences need to be shared in order to promote best practices more widely

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Zhou Min

R&D Director of Shanghai Chemical Industry Park Sino French Water Development
Zhou Min, R&D Director of Shanghai Chemical Industry Park Sino French Water Development Co.,Ltd. is an experienced professional in industrial wastewater treatment, smart water strategy and low-carbon solutions for the water industry.   About... Read full biography