The Chinese Blue Sky Initiative: From coal to natural gas

As part of an extensive plan for green transition, the Chinese government is working towards 100 % natural gas heating. AVK is part of upgrade projects across the country, all with the over-arching aim of bringing back the blue skies over China.

Decades ago, the Chinese government started looking into the misty phenomenon, which was first thought to be a type of fog lingering in especially larger cities. It turned out to be intense air pollution, or what we refer to as smog – tiny, emitted particles posing severe health risks and climatic impact.

Committed to change, China has introduced numerous game-changing alterations under an umbrella-project known as the Blue Sky initiative; an extensive shift to greener methods aiming to bring back the blue skies. To prioritise their efforts, the Chinese government conducted research to determine the primary sources to the harmful emissions. They found that about one third of the generated smog was connected to heating; more specifically to the heavy use of coal gas throughout the country.

From coal to natural gas
The smallest particles found in dense smog are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Being less than 2.5 microns in diameter, they are small enough to not only reach the lungs but to cross into the bloodstream as well. The World Health Organization (WHO) sets the maximum safe limit of exposure over a 24-hour period to 25 of the smallest (PM2.5) particles in every cubic metre of air. Regularly, and especially during winter, this level exceeds well above 200, forcing public institutions, schools and work places to close. A reality that the Chinese population would no longer accept.

Starting off with the bigger cities, the dedicated goal is to switch the entire country’s heating sources to natural gas. As the installed coal gas pipes cannot carry natural gas, entire pipelines and equipment are being upgraded.

AVK contributes to the green transformation
So far, the AVK Group has delivered more than 27,000 valves to upgrade projects and expects to increase its contributions in the years to come. Primarily, these contributions include series 36 and 46 from AVK International A/S and ball valves from AVK Plastics.

Regarding transportation, which in general is accused of contributing vastly to the issue, China has placed huge investments in the electric car industry. In 2018, more electric cars were produced and sold in the country than in the rest of the world combined. Positive results are already seen in the Chinese sky, and at AVK we are proud to assist in the many transformative activities.

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Learn more about our AVK Gas Supply solution area and the ways we can offer our assistance in gas supply projects and initiatives.

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