Yunnan province seeking to steer its economy along a greener path, according to a government blueprint


Yunnan Province Has Set A Number of Environmental Targets

The province has set a number of targets for the coming five years which, if they go according to plan, would have a 'marked improvement' on the environment by 2025, the Plan said.

By 2025, the output value of the environmental protection industry in Yunnan Province will reach more than 100 billion yuan.


On June 9, the General Office of the People's Government of Yunnan Province issued the "14th Five-Year Plan for the Development of Environmental Protection Industry in Yunnan Province". The "Plan" proposes that by 2025, the output value of the environmental protection industry reach more than 100 billion yuan, with an average annual growth rate of more than 15%. During the next five years, the government will focus on reducing pollution emissions and making more efficient use of resources. By 2025, the government plans to treat 80 percent of its wastewater and recycle 20 percent for re-use. More than 95 percent of domestic garbage would be treated, it said. The government hopes to reduce the amount of sulfur dioxide emissions - the main source of acid rain - by 20 percent by 2025. Most of Yunnan's rivers will be cleaned.


Fewer resources and less energy would be needed to create the same amount of wealth through the greater scientific use of electricity, water, and raw materials, the Plan said. Industrial polluters are expected to face stricter regulations and hefty fines in the coming years, and local administrations will not grant land or loans to factories that fail to meet standards.


By 2025, the output value of the environmental protection industry will reach more than 100 billion yuan, with an average annual growth rate of more than 15%. Significant breakthroughs have been made in the utilization of resources and the prevention and control of water pollution. The priority is given to smart and integrated solutions, energy-saving products, sewage treatment equipment, air pollution prevention, and soil pollution remediation technology.


What are some areas of development of Yunnan's environmental protection industry during the "14th Five-Year Plan"?


 The focus is on development areas such as energy-saving industries, resource recycling industries, and advanced environmental protection industries while relying on the resources and market advantages of Yunnan Province.


 Energy-saving industries


The development of energy-saving internal combustion engines, energy-saving transformers, energy-saving three-phase asynchronous motors, permanent magnet motors, special pumps, high-efficiency lighting products, mining machinery, wires and cables, and other energy-saving key components. Some other equipment includes special equipment for food processing, energy-saving and environmentally-friendly equipment for tobacco leaves, fruits, and vegetables, energy-saving grinding machines, non-ferrous metal electrolysis systems with low power consumption, new gas kilns, energy-saving kilns, large-capacity, and high-power closed smelting furnaces, high efficiency solar thermal technology, biomass energy utilization technology and equipment, natural rubber wet mixing technology and equipment, and internal combustion engine fuel-saving technology and equipment adapted to the characteristics of high altitude, smart grid, micro grid, energy storage technology and equipment, enterprise energy measurement monitoring control, visual management system, and related technologies. 


Green building materials


R&D and application of green and low-carbon earthquake-resistant building technologies such as green buildings, earthquake-resistant buildings, smart buildings, and prefabricated buildings. The research is dedicated to photovoltaic, solar-thermal building integration technologies and products, aluminum alloy profiles, bamboo and wood structural materials, energy-saving and environmentally friendly panels, green and low-carbon exterior wall insulation materials, low-volatile organic content architectural coatings and adhesives, and other building materials. Some other areas of interest are shock-absorbing and isolation technologies and products, exterior wall panels with integrated structure and thermal insulation decoration, polymer waterproof materials, sealing materials, heat-reflecting films, energy-saving glass, and energy-saving doors and windows, and lightweight and water-saving sanitary ceramics, water-permeable and high-strength ground building materials that meet the needs of "sponge city" construction, high-performance concrete, high-strength steel, and energy-saving functional building materials such as phase change heat storage concrete and phase change building materials.


Resource recycling industry


This includes businesses engaged in recycling, processing, and utilization of recyclable resources, scientific and technological development, information services, commodity circulation of recyclable resources, and other activities.


By the principle of "reduction, recycling, and harmlessness", the recovery of valuable metals and the utilization of bulk solid waste will be promoted, and the utilization evaluation of industrial solid waste resources will be implemented to improve the comprehensive recovery rate of resources. The goal is to develop and produce solid waste recycling products, actively explore the utilization methods and technologies of "urban minerals", promote renewable resource products, continue to promote the reduction and resource utilization of solid waste sources, and build a "waste-free city". The province will establish and improve a management system for the classification and recycling of waste electronic appliances, automobiles, scrap metals, tires, plastics, and other waste resources, and implement a comprehensive utilization of kitchen waste, agricultural and forestry waste, livestock and poultry breeding waste, and municipal sludge. 


Resource utilization of mine waste and tailings. The focus is on comprehensive recovery and utilization technology, low-grade platinum and palladium ore extraction technology, new green mining, and metallurgy. In the next few years, we will see an increase in the utilization of indium, thallium, cadmium, germanium, and other mineral resources in co-associated minerals, and focus on supporting the comprehensive extraction of primary or co-existing rare and precious metal minerals and the integration of efficient separation and purification technologies. 


Resource utilization of industrial solid waste. Focused on the use of phosphogypsum, coal gangue, fly ash, phosphorus slag, steel slag, metallurgical slag, and other resources to produce new building materials, the use of industrial solid waste as raw materials for cement clinker production and cement mixed materials. The production of hollow bricks and decorative bricks from shale and the development of new processes of sintering hollow bricks with a high content (more than 50%) of fly ash and full coal gangue. The use of industrial solid waste to produce high-performance concrete and concrete products, and the use of industrial waste residue and construction waste to manufacture high-permeability ecological ceramic tiles.


Recycling of renewable resources. The purification and reduction technology of rare metals in waste electrical and electronic products, the non-destructive dismantling technology of the main parts of scrapped motor vehicles, the classification technology of waste plastics, the harmless and efficient recycling technology of waste catalysts, the sorting and recycling of waste glass, and the separation of effective components of cans and removal of surface coatings. The classification and recycling of typical "urban minerals" such as scrapped motor vehicles, waste electrical appliances, waste mechanical and electrical equipment, wires and cables, scrap metals, waste paper, rubber, plastics, etc., and improvement of the efficiency of fine separation and purification of rare and precious metals, and plastic modification and mixed waste plastics. 


Conservation and utilization of water resources.  Promotion and development of water-saving technologies such as high-hardness and high-alkali circulating water treatment technology, water quality classification and cascade utilization technology, high-calcium, and high-concentration organic wastewater treatment and reuse technology, and frequency conversion water-saving system. In the field of living, focusing on water-deficient cities such as the nine plateau lake basins and the urban agglomeration in central Yunnan, the construction of reclaimed water treatment facilities in residential quarters, hospitals, schools, institutions, and service industries will be promoted. In the agricultural field, the promotion of water-saving irrigation technologies such as anti-seepage of water delivery channels, spray (drip) irrigation, micro-irrigation, and water and fertilizer integration will be implemented, as well as the technology of unpowered rainwater collectors, integrated rainwater collection systems, siphon rainwater buckets, siphonic drainage systems, and other technical equipment for rainwater collection, treatment, and utilization.


Resource utilization of agricultural and forestry wastes. Development of agricultural solid waste feed, fertilizer, and energy technology and equipment, and promotion and development of agriculture, forestry, and animal husbandry solid waste utilization industry. The Plan includes the use of biomass agricultural and forestry waste to produce wood-based panels, biomass fuels, biological culture medium, ferment feed, biogas, and high-efficiency organic fertilizers.  


(3) Advanced environmental protection industry


This includes the implementation projects for the protection and restoration of important ecosystems in Yunnan province, and the development of a comprehensive management system for the whole chain of source reduction, process control, and end treatment, focusing on water pollution prevention, air pollution prevention, soil pollution prevention and ecological remediation, domestic waste and hazardous waste treatment and disposal, among many others. The future projects will emphasize the advanced and applicable pollution control technology and equipment, give priority to the environmental protection agents and environmental protection materials in environmental governance, improve the market competitiveness of environmental protection technology products, and support the environmental protection service industry. 


Water pollution prevention and control. Focusing on the urban agglomeration in central Yunnan, nine plateau lake basins, important centralized drinking water sources, etc., the future projects will actively develop and promote improved combined treatment technology of aerated biological filters, low-cost deep dephosphorization, and nitrogen removal technology, and short-process dehydration technology. Nitrogen technology and high-concentration activated sludge treatment technology have increased the quality and efficiency of urban sewage treatment plants. One of the goals is to develop and implement technical equipment for water pollution control, ion exchange, membrane separation, acidification and coagulation treatment, and wastewater reuse in coal chemical, pharmaceutical, non-ferrous metal mining, dressing and smelting, papermaking, and other industries, as well as improve the monitoring, analysis, and early warning system for toxic substances in plateau lakes.


Air pollution prevention and control. The future projects include exhaust gas of metallurgical furnaces, emission and carbon reduction technology and equipment, the integrated purification of flue gas, sulfur, nitrate, and dust, the collection and treatment of fugitive pollutants, and the coordinated control of multi-pollutants. The focus is on improving the production, installation, operation, and maintenance system of industrial emission reduction core technology equipment, and promoting the standardization, integration, serialization, and large-scale design and manufacture of equipment, as well as the upgrading and transformation of large-scale industrial boilers and kiln flue gas desulfurization and denitration devices. Next five years we will see a rise in technologies such as industrial combustible waste gas recycling, ultra-low industrial flue gas emissions, and waste gas and greenhouse gas treatment.


Soil pollution prevention and ecological restoration.  Strengthening the research on treatment technologies for heavy metal-contaminated soils is also part of the Plan, as well as more research on technologies such as soil bioremediation, soil gas-phase extraction, and electrokinetic separation of heavy metals. The equipment that will be used is technical equipment such as thermal desorption, chemical leaching, and redox. The treatment and restoration of farmland soil pollution, industrial land pollution, and mining soil pollution will be implemented, along with the soil ecological restoration, mineral-based soil conditioning materials, and application technologies. A special focus will be given to industries such as coking, lead and zinc mining and smelting, copper mining and dressing, and implementation of the treatment and restoration of polluted plots of closed enterprises. The relocation and transformation of leftover plots of hazardous chemical production enterprises, strengthening the management, control, governance, and restoration of pollution risks of vacated land will be crucial in the next five years.


Domestic waste and hazardous waste treatment and disposal. Smart classification of domestic waste, storage, deodorization technologies, and equipment for miniaturized waste pyrolysis in rural areas are getting in the spotlight by the Plan. The businesses will be encouraged to develop and produce technical equipment for the treatment and disposal of medical waste, smelting and electroplating sludge, polluted acid neutralization slag, waste cathode, aluminum ash, aluminum electrolytic cell overhaul slag, electrolytic aluminum carbon slag, and electroplating industry sewage treatment slag. Actively promoting the comprehensive utilization and harmless disposal of hazardous waste resources will also be implemented in the near future. The plan also calls for a medical waste collection and transportation management system and a hazardous waste big data supervision platform.


Vibration and noise reduction and radiation pollution prevention. Development and production of high-efficiency and multi-functional mufflers, sound-absorbing components, serialized vibration isolation and shock absorbers, serialized fans, water pumps, motors, and automobile mufflers, focusing on the development of matching mufflers for large-scale ventilation and aerodynamic equipment are all included in the Plan. New sound absorption, sound insulation, and vibration reduction technologies, materials, and equipment will be implemented as a regular practice in noise pollution control. The focus is on research radiation dosimetry and radiation monitoring technology, monitoring instruments, and protective equipment.


Environmentally friendly functional materials. The implementation of solid acid-base catalysts, exhaust gas purification catalysts, and high-efficiency adsorbents will become a new norm, along with the development and production of degradable mineral processing agents, cyanide-free gold leaching agents, degradable flocculants, green scale inhibitors, multi-functional oxidants, and nano-agents.  An integrated operation and maintenance services of automatic continuous monitoring and pollution control facilities will be crucial, as well as environmental engineering consulting, cleaner production audits, third-party control of environmental pollution, and general contracting of environmental protection services. Emerging environmental protection service industries such as ecological restoration, environmental risk damage identification and assessment, carbon trading, energy use rights trading, emission rights trading, and smart monitoring will be the focus of attention.