COWI wins large order for Chinese energy giant

The Chinese energy giant, Huaneng Power International, has chosen COWI to design a district heating accumulator tank at one of its coal-fired plants. The project is an offshoot from a Danish-Chinese cooperation and is an important step towards cleaner energy production in China.


China has stepped up its efforts to extract green energy, and needs increased flexibility at its power stations to make better use of e.g. solar and wind energy. One way of doing this is to integrate district heating technology into the existing coal-fired plants.

COWI has many years of experience in this area and has just won a major contract for one of the largest Chinese energy producers, Huaneng Power International China, which has a generating capacity of some 70,000 MW, spread across plants in 21 provinces.

Part of COWI’s job is to produce the overall design and oversee the commissioning of a district heating accumulator tank at one of Huaneng Power International’s coal-fired plants.

“The project will be one of 22 demonstration facilities in China, which will serve as pioneering examples of cleaner energy production, so there will also be a lot of attention on this. It s a golden opportunity to position COWI more firmly in the Chinese market – where the Danish energy sector occupies a position of strength with solid know-how within power station technology,” says Brian Seeberg, director in COWI’s energy division.

Political cooperation paves the way to green transformation

It is very unusual for a European company to sign a contract directly with a Chinese customer. And Brian Seeberg makes no secret of the fact that this owes much to the efforts of the Danish Government and the Danish Energy Agency to support the export drive by the Danish energy sector:

“The agreement on increased cooperation in power plant flexibility, which was signed by the Danish and Chinese governments in 2016 – and which the Danish Energy Agency has been working to bring about for many years – has undoubtedly opened doors for us," says Brian Seeberg.

Among other things, COWI has been invited to speak at a number of conferences.

"That is one reason why we have been able to get ‘right up close’ to a heavyweight like Huaneng Power International, which is one of the top five power generation companies in China – and hence one of the largest in the whole world,” says Brian Seeberg, emphasising that such international partnerships between private and public-sector operators are crucial to bringing about a green transformation.  

The power station is in the city of Dandong near the border between China and North Korea. It consists of two coal-fired units which supply a large district heating network with heat.

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COWI employee Søren Kragh Pedersen

Søren Kragh Pedersen
Head of Group PA & PR
Communication, Denmark

Tel: +45 2025 7018