VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Nuorkivi Consulting are presently undertaking analysis of successful integration of best practices for the district heating market in China.

The companies are overseeing the the suitability of Finnish heat distribution centres for Chinese conditions.
VTT Finland
China, which is already the world’s biggest user of district heating, currently uses traditional joint district heating centres and has taken on Finnish expertise in a bid to provide more energy-efficient and better functioning district heating.

The Finnish analysis found that the introduction of building-specific heat distribution centres would result in 10-20% savings in energy costs and reduction in CO2 emissions.

The World Bank recently implemented a pilot project on district heating in the Liaoning Province in China, where almost a hundred building-specific district heating centres were installed in ten sites.

The Chinese Ministry of Housing, Urban and Rural Development (MoHURD) requested Finland to analyse the results and draw up a handbook on building-specific district heating centres to support the heating reform currently being promoted by MoHURD. VTT and Nuorkivi Consulting took advantage of the results from the EUR 360m project that the World Bank funded in 2014-2016.

The use of building-specific heat distribution centres allows direct distribution of heat to buildings and building-specific adjustment of heating. The resultant benefit is that the long delay between the joint distribution centre and separate houses is eliminated.

The use of building-specific heat distribution centres saves investment costs on district heating networks, because only two pipes are needed instead of several. “We estimated that, depending on the method of implementation, 10-20% of energy can be saved,” says Kari Sipilä, Principal Scientist at VTT.

On the basis of the results obtained, the World Bank is in the process of launching a continuation project in Hebei Province.

The results have been compiled into a publication that has also been published in Chinese. Minister Kimmo Tiilikainen handed over the report in China in March.