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TEDA Special Report—Creating An Eco-Industrial Park

2005-6-10 11:49:38

After 20 years of efforts, Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area or TEDA has transformed from a salty beach to a modern city. The ecological miracle has enabled TEDA to be one of the top Chinese cities with a high coverage rate of afforestation. The environmental friendly planning also boosts its economic development.

In today’s TEDA Special Report, we will tell you how TEDA promotes the idea of ecological economy.

As early as the beginning of the 1980s, TEDA was set up on a saline and alkaline beach besides Bohai Sea in North China. Salt makes up nearly 7 percent of the soil here. Such bad conditions make it hard for any planting. The First Director of TEDA’s organizing committee, Zhao Zhaoruo, told reporters that he once sought advice from a Japanese expert on forestation.

“The expert said he had worked in many countries and couldn’t think of a place that was infertile. He said he could plant trees and grass here.”

However, after testing TEDA’s soil samples, the expert said he had never seen such a high percentage of salt and alkali in soil. Conclusion—TEDA is no plant’s land.

The expert’s conclusion did not make TEDA’s pioneers lose their confidence. After many experiments, they managed to plant trees in TEDA and the area becomes greener and greener.

Today, there is a shelterbelt in the east of TEDA. The soil in this belt is a combination of ash, and waste residue from the nearby power generator and chemical factories, as well as sea soil. TEDA’s forest park is also built on such waste residue. The 1.5-million-square meter park can effectively help adjust TEDA and its neighboring area’s temperature and humidity.

Statistics show that the current coverage rate of afforestation of in TEDA has exceeded 30 percent. It has nearly 8 million square meters’ of green land.

TEDA welcomes investment. But not every kind of enterprise can enter TEDA. For heavy polluters, TEDA has a strict policy. Once they can’t reach the environmental standards, they won’t be allowed to keep their factories here.

Years of efforts in improving its ecological environment have enabled TEDA to become one of the top choices for foreign investors.

Novozymes, a company headquartered in Denmark, is the world’s biggest industrial enzyme producer. Several years ago, the company set up Novozymes Biological (China) in TEDA. Its officer in charge of environmental affairs Wang Xuebin had this to say:

“During our production, the primary raw material will be used as cleanly as possible. We all know that Tianjin is in great shortage of water. Having the lowest consumption of water and energy will be our annual goal. We are also making a three or four-year long-term plan to track the consumption of water and energy on each ton of product we make.”

Wang Xuebin said the Novozymes processes the residue from the production and makes it into fertilizer without pollution but having a strong disease resistance function. The company gives the residue to the nearby farms for free.

Because of its fast development, TEDA is now encouraging an economic system based on recycling and reducing energy, raw material, and residue during the industrial production.

In TEDA, some waste materials from one factory can become raw material for the others after being processed. For instance, the car factories in TEDA produce large amounts of waste steel. It is then collected by the steel refinery and made into steel ingot. The ingot is made into car parts reused in car factories to make cars.

Now, even rubbish is used to generate electricity. TEDA Environmental Production Company can process 400,000 tons of rubbish and generate 120 million kilowatt hours of electricity, which means it can save 48,000 tons of coal each year.

TEDA is also trying to recycle its wastewater to reuse it in manufacturing and planting. At the moment, the system can recycle 40,000 tons of wastewater and raise the water-recycled rate by 30 percent. The manager of the Tianjin TEDA Sewage Factory spoke to a reporter:

“Our scale may be the biggest in the country by far. Since it started to operate, the system has received positive comments from clients. Some users think it is very convenient to use the recycled water. Above all, it also helps save some costs during the production.”

At present, TEDA is stepping up efforts to build up the largest Sea Water Desalination as a long-term plan to provide support for TEDA’s sustainable growth.

Our question for today: What is the coverage rate of afforestation in TEDA?