Outstanding district heating network performance

In Harbin, northeast China, Veolia is operating and extending a heating network that offers outstanding performance, monitored in real time.


Harbin is home to 9.5 million people, making it one of China's 10 most populated cities. It also faces extremely tough weather conditions, with annual temperatures averaging just -9°C. Following the acquisition of a majority stake in Chinese company YangGuang, Veolia won a local-government contract to provide a new heating network in the southwest section of the city in 2007. The network is expected to supply heating to 23 million square meters of floor space in buildings across an area of 52 square kilometers by 2020. The goal is to reduce pollution from coal-fired power plants and halve greenhouse gas emissions.


The new network has already made it possible to shut down a number of standalone heating plants and smokestacks in the area covered by the contract. Veolia's expertise in optimizing services – particularly through the use of facilities incorporating circulating fluidized bed (CFB) and combined heat and power (CHP) technology – have significantly reduced the emissions of greenhouse gases and dust caused by burning fossil fuels.


Veolia has also developed a tailored management system that uses sensors to measure variations in energy use in real time and quickly detect any problems. This has led to a 40% increase in energy efficiency.

Veolia is now acknowledged as a benchmark operator in heating networks in China, where, through its experience and expertise in energy efficiency, the company is providing effective solutions to address the key concerns of local authorities.
Thierry Stievenard
Senior Vice-President, Municipal Energy Services, Veolia China


Key Figures


44% increase in energy efficiency

19.7 million square meters heated

Customer benefits

  • Reduction in pollution from coal-fired plants
  • Smaller carbon footprint
  • Energy optimization
  • More reliable heating supply 


  • Management of heat generation and distribution
  • Real-time tailored monitoring system for optimal network management
  • Preventive maintenance program