WASHINGTON, DC May 17, 2011 - The World Bank Board approved a US$100 million loan to help two districts in Urumqi with access to more energy efficient and environmental friendly district heating services.
Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwest China, has been suffering from serious air pollution in winter, with home heating as a major culprit. The municipality of Urumqi has determined to improve the air quality for its 2.3 million residents. One of the major measures is to close down hundreds of dispersed boilers in urban areas and replace them with an integrated district heating network where the main heat sources are combined heat and power plants. The Urumqi District Heating Project is designed to support this effort.
“Urumqi is undertaking serious efforts to combat wintertime air pollution. By replacing the use of local boiler plants in two districts, this project will improve air quality in the district neighborhoods,” said Mr. Gailius Draugelis, World Bank Senior Energy Specialist who is the task team leader for this project.
The project will finance construction of basic infrastructure to connect residents to district heating services with improved energy efficiency and environmental performance mainly in two districts, Shuimogou, Shayibake and small part of Tianshan District in Urumqi. The loan of US$100 million contributes 30 percent of the total estimated project costs.
The World Bank has been supporting a district heating sector reform and modernization program consisting of the promotion of demand-side measures including building energy efficiency, consumption based billing and the modernization of district heating supply systems in China. Overall, the World Bank is working on district heating issues with about 16 Chinese cities through Global Environmental Facility (GEF) grant and World Bank loan projects.