ESA Plays Its Part in Pro­tect­ing China’s En­vi­ron­ment

China Today (English) - - CONTENTS - By staff reporter SE­BASTIEN ROUSSILLAT

ENVIRONEMENT S. A. (ESA) is a French com­pany spe­cial­iz­ing in con - tin­u­ous en­vi­ron­men­tal mon­i­tor­ing. Founded in 1978 by com­pany CEO François Gour­don, and listed in 2006, ESA has es­tab­lished branches in 65 coun­tries, and is thriv ing. “China’s huge growth po­ten­tial prompted us to set up a branch here, Environement China L td., at the end of 2009, al - though we launched our China op­er­a­tions in the late 1990s, with the as­sis­tance of a lo­cal dis­trib­u­tor,” En­vi­ron­ment China Ltd. CEO Fa­bi­enne Rond said.

ESA is a leader in the de­vel­op­ment and in­stal­la­tion of sys­tems mon­i­tor­ing and mea­sur­ing air­borne pol­lu­tants, par­tic­u­late mat­ter, and nox­ious gas emis­sions, in­clud­ing dioxin. Its equip­ment is in­stalled mainly in the chim­neys of in­cin­er­a­tors, power plants and other com­bus­tion fa­cil­i­ties. The com­pany won the bid for mon­i­tor­ing sta­tion con­struc­tion projects in Bei­jing prior to the 2008 Olympics.

Pol­lu­tion a Grim Chal­lenge

Decades ago, when low- end man­u­fac­tur­ing shifted to China, the coun­try grad­u­ally be­came “fac­tory of the world.” This de­vel­op­ment mode, how­ever, en­gen­dered the side ef­fects of in­dus­trial and air pol­lu­tion and other en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues.

“I think the Chi­nese peo­ple and their gov­ern­ment fully un­der­stand the grav­ity of the sit­u­a­tion. In the past three or four years the gov­ern­ment has is­sued new guide­lines on rais­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal stan­dards and broad­en­ing the scope of mon­i­tor­ing and mea­sur­ing to in­clude dif­fer­ent types of gases, as well as new geo­graphic and busi­ness ar­eas. China clearly takes this is­sue very se­ri­ously. In the past six months to one year, the gov-

ern­ment has sig­nif­i­cantly ac­cel­er­ated its pace in this re­gard,” Rond said.

Air qual­ity and con­trol of in­dus­trial emis­sions have be­come the leit­mo­tif of China’s en­vi­ron­men­tal poli­cies since Bei­jing and other Chi­nese cities be­came blan­keted in dense smog. “We have the equip­ment and de­vices to mea­sure air qual­ity and emis­sions, and the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment is will­ing to take steps to curb pol­lu­tant emis­sions. That cre­ates a be­nign mar­ket for us. We have seen more op­por­tu­ni­ties in re­cent years, for ex­am­ple, in the mon­i­tor­ing of VOCs ( volatile or­ganic com­pounds), both in the air and in emis­sions. China also plans to equip cer­tain ar­eas with sen­sors that, although less pre­cise than mon­i­tor­ing sta­tion an­a­lyz­ers, cover wider ar­eas and mon­i­tor the same pa­ram­e­ters, in­clud­ing PM 2.5,” Rond said.

Par­tic­u­late mat­ter of a less than 2.5 mi­cron in di­am­e­ter is a se­ri­ous con­cern to the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment due to the se­ri­ous health risk it con­sti­tutes as a likely cause of can­cer, res­pi­ra­tory dis­or­ders, car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease and low life ex­pectancy.

A Boom­ing Mar­ket

Greater en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion aware­ness has brought with it a surg­ing de­mand for mon­i­tor­ing and mea­sur­ing equip­ment and de­vices. “We have two types of cus­tomers: com­pa­nies that need emis­sion mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems and gov­ern­ment de­part­ments that need air qual­ity mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems. As re­gards the lat­ter, the cen­tral gov­ern­ment urges lo­cal gov­ern­ments to pub­lish air qual­ity data, so cre­at­ing the need for pro­vin­cial, mu­nic­i­pal and county-level gov­ern­ments to build air qual­ity mon­i­tor­ing and mea­sur­ing sta­tions that then call for ten­ders,” Rond said.

Rond went on to elab­o­rate on the progress China has made in air qual­ity mon­i­tor­ing. “In the past, only three pa­ram­e­ters were mea­sured in China – PM 10 (par­tic­u­late mat­ter of a less than 10 mi­cron di­am­e­ter), sul­fur diox­ide and ni­tric ox­ide. Since 2012, PM 2.5, ozone and car­bon diox­ide have been added to the manda­tory pa­ram­e­ters mon­i­tored by fixed mon­i­tor­ing sta­tions.”

“As to emis­sions mon­i­tor­ing, the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment rolled out one year ago more new stip­u­la­tions on low­er­ing the emis­sion ceil­ings on ni­tric ox­ide, sul­fur diox­ide and par­tic­u­late mat­ter in com­bus­tion fa­cil­i­ties, es­pe­cially power plants. We can now en­ter the power plant in­dus­trial emis­sions mon­i­tor­ing mar­ket be­cause the pre­ci­sion re­quire­ments are higher, and our de­vices meet this need,” she added.

Com­pe­ti­tion from Chi­nese Com­pa­nies

Gen­eral aware­ness in China of the pol­lu­tion is­sue has also pushed the gov­ern­ment to sup­port Chi­nese com­pa­nies’ de­vel­op­ment of mon­i­tor­ing and mea­sur­ing equip­ment, and to make in­no­va­tions in this area.

For ex­am­ple, the cen­tral gov­ern­ment rec­om­mends that gov­ern­ment pro­cure­ment should give prece­dence to 100 per­cent “Made in China” equip­ment if its price and qual­ity are same as that of a for­eign bid­der. “This re­quire­ment is not manda­tory. How­ever, it is ac­cepted and put into prac­tice in cer­tain cities and re­gions where the bud­gets are nor­mally smaller. As it is dif­fi­cult for for­eign com­pa­nies to gain a share in the equip­ment main­te­nance mar­ket, we are try­ing to build part­ner­ships with Chi­nese com­pa­nies tak­ing part in ten­ders,” Rond ex­plained.

Chi­nese com­pa­nies cur­rently par­tic­i­pate in the mar­ket by im­port­ing and sell­ing for­eign-made equip­ment or im­port­ing and in­stalling for­eign-made key com­po­nents in their own- brand equip­ment, so re­duc­ing costs, ac­cord­ing to Rond. “Chi­nese com­pa­nies are also striv­ing to de­velop their own prod­ucts,” Rond con­cluded.

Fa­bi­enne Rond is the CEO of En­vi­ron­ment China Ltd.

A Shanghai Ther­mal Power En­ergy Co.,Ltd. com­bus­tion plant.

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