Better Heating for Chinese Households to Curb Air Pollution

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – More than a quarter of a million households in a northeastern province of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) will soon have energy-efficient centralized heating with the help of a $150 million loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

“Many households resort to using coal stoves for heating, a major cause of indoor air pollution and respiratory diseases, especially among women and children who spend most of their time at home,” said Teruhisa Oi, Senior Energy Specialist at ADB’s East Asia Department.

The Energy Efficient District Heating Project will expand and upgrade district heating systems to make them more energy efficient, thereby reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants in eight cities in  Heilongjiang province, an underdeveloped northeastern border province regularly buffeted by frigid Siberian winds, where temperatures can fall as low as -40°C.

The project will expand district heating systems to cover an additional 270,000 households without increasing net emissions. Small, inefficient, and polluting neighborhood coal-fired boilers and coal-fired household stoves will be removed. Centralized district heating networks will instead get their heat supply from large boilers and energy efficient combined heat and power plants.

Under the project, around 50% of the heating bill collector jobs will be offered to women, and subsidies will be given to 1,300 poor households headed by women.  Energy conservation awareness campaigns will be organized for about 800,000 women.

Aside from direct financing for the heating system, the project will provide support to two private heating companies – Raohe County Chenguang Heating Co. and Tongjiang Changheng Cogeneration Co. – which operate in remote small cities, and improve energy efficient heat generation capacity in the cities of Raohe, and Tongjiang.

In order to share good business practices, knowledge-sharing sessions will be organized between private sector companies and state-owned enterprises.

The ADB loan will be sourced from ADB’s ordinary capital resources.