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Sinopec Group:Government and enterprises jointly create “Xiong County model” of geothermal development to achieve triple win

2018-02-05Sino-Swedish CSR Websiteadmin0010


Company profile
China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group) is a wholly state-owned enterprise, a state-authorized investment entity and a state-controlled company. Its main businesses include oil and gas exploration, pipeline transportation and sale; the production, sale, storage and transportation of oil refining products, petrochemical products, coal chemical products, chemical fiber products, chemical fertilizer products and other chemical products; the import & export and agent import & export business of oil, gas, oil products, petrochemical and other chemical products and technologies; the R & D and application of technology and information. In 2015, the business of Sinopec Group covered 76 countries and regions around the world with 845,000 employees, realizing operating income of RMB 2.0473 billion and ranking No.2 among Fortune 500. 
Geothermal is a kind of clean renewable energy. Xiong County in Hebei Province is rich in geothermal resources, but before 2009, Xiong County mainly used coal-fired boiler heating in winter and severely polluted the air and the environment. Its partial scattered geothermal heating results in great waste of resources due to too much focuses on benefit without concerning protection, and a lack of overall planning and reinjection. How to find a model to achieve sustainable development and the utilization of geothermal resources will be a huge challenge for Xiong County to build itself as a ecological city. 
As the largest domestic enterprise in geothermal development and utilization, Sinopec insists on the principle of “developing under protection and protecting during development”, strengthens close cooperation with Xiong County government, and scientifically develops geothermal resources to build Xiong County as the first “smoke-free city” in China. This has formed a “Xiong County model” featuring government leading, government-enterprise cooperation, advanced technology, environment-friendly principle, serving the people”, and set up a demonstration role of geothermal heating in China.
Government-enterprise cooperation creates a community of shared future for geothermal resources development
In August 2009, Sinopec Group and the Xiong County government signed Agreement on Cooperation of Geothermal Development to jointly promote the development and utilization of the County’s geothermal resources.
To ensure reasonable development of resources, Xiong County and Sinopec Group work closely together to exert their respective advantages and implement “four unifications” to ensure the smooth implementation of the project. Unified policy—a preferential policy made by the government on the costs of geothermal exploration and development, operation and maintenance, heating, etc.; unified management—set up geothermal management office, and carry out unified management of the comprehensive utilization of geothermal energy; unified planning—Sinopec Group compiled Special Planning on The Development and Utilization of Geothermal in 12.1 square kilometers of Xiong County (2010-2020), as a guiding document of geothermal development, it is included in the general planning of urban construction and the planning of economic development; unified development—Xiong County has granted Sinopec Group a franchise of geothermal development to carry out overall development.
Unified development ensures scientific and orderly development of geothermal resources
According to the principle of “overall development, distributed implementation, comprehensive utilization, sound development”, Sinopec Group adopts the model of “investment—building—operation” to guarantee investment, supports to construct geothermal heating facilities timely, and develop geothermal resources scientifically and reasonably. Sinopec Group has invested RMB 40 billion to purchase 18 private existing geothermal wells, and adopted advanced model to achieve technology transformation in the light of “indirect heat transfer, combination of exploitation and irrigation”, totally changing the original backward predatory development model of “direct exploitation and discharge”. Sinopec Group has also established relatively centralized connected direct heating system featuring “multi-well gathering, well stations connection, combination of exploitation and irrigation, comprehensive management” to enhance heating effect while protecting resources and environment.  
Advanced technology realizes the sustainable utilization of resources
During the geothermal development process in Xiong County, Sinopec Group has adopted a series of new technologies and crafts to gradually set up six major technology systems, namely geothermal resources exploration, appraisal, drilling and completion craft, tail water injection, cascade utilization and informatization system, to greatly improve the efficiency of geothermal utilization, reduce the operating cost, and realize the sustainable development of geothermal energy.
To solve the technical bottleneck problem of geothermal development in Xiong County and realize sustainable development, Sinopec Group has gathered Chinese and foreign geothermal experts to overcome this worldwide problem on key technology of geothermal tail water injection and achieve 100% groundwater reinjection after heat removal.
Precise management and high-efficient operation enhance corporate benefits
By using operational dynamic monitoring system, Sinopec Group has monitored the quality of heating service in real time, analyzed the efficiency of resources utilization, adjusted thermal energy supply timely to guarantee the household temperature reaching the standard; Sinopec Group has guaranteed stable and safe operation of facilities and pipe network by establishing operation service branch for heating areas and providing 24 hours maintenance service; through setting up marketing hall in urban area, Sinopec Group has also provided high-quality and high-efficiency services for users, such as consulting, networking, payment and customer service, etc.
Deepening cooperation promotes “coal to geothermal” in rural areas
The northern area of Xiong County was included in forbidden coal area, and Xiong County decided to implement coal ban in the whole Beisha Village in 2016. To solve local heating problem, Sinopec Group has defined Shaxin Village of Xiong County as the pilot village of “coal to geothermal” with nearly 80,000 square meters of heating area covering the whole village. In 2016, after completion and putting into use, over 500 villagers have officially begun to use clean geothermal heating system, and the first heating season has saved 1,800 tons of standard coal. This project will continue to be greatly promoted in “forbidden coal area” of Xiong County.  
Social benefit
Benefit the people of Xiong County with the realization of the full coverage of urban geothermal heating. According to the current price, it can save RMB 6 / ㎡ for each family. If the area of geothermal heating is calculated at 4.77 million ㎡, the heating expenditure will be reduced by RMB 28.62 million per year.
Help create a beautiful ecological environment. Xiongan New Area has basically achieved “zero emissions” of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and dust with 120,000 tons of standard coal and 280,000 tons of carbon dioxide reduced per year, making it the first “smoke-free city” in China.
The project on geothermal heating CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) of Xiong County successfully registered in the United Nations, and the Certified Emission Reduction (CER) is 960,000 tons.
The project effectively restraints the trend of rapid decline of geothermal water level in the urban area, decreasing from a decrease of 7 or 8 meters per year to a decrease of 2 or 3 meters per year.
Economic benefit
As of the end of 2016, Sinopec Group has developed geothermal heating to 15 cities (counties) in Hebei with 15 million㎡ heating capacity. The company has promoted geothermal industry to 16 provinces and cities across the country, and the geothermal heating capacity has reached 40 million㎡, accounting for 40% of conventional geothermal resources heating area in the country. It has become the largest enterprise of developing and utilizing conventional geothermal heating resources in China.
The “model of Xiong County” created by Sinopec Group is technically mature and economically feasible, scalable and replicable. This model has officially been promoted during China’s first geothermal work conference in 2004. 
The publication of The 13th Five-Year Plan of the Development and Utilization of Geothermal Energy and the construction of Xiongan New Area have created great opportunity for the development and utilization of geothermal energy. Based on the successful experience of “mode of Xiong County”, Sinopec Group will strive to create the upgrade version of “model of Xiong County” by promoting the generated utilization of “geothermal + multiple clean energies”. Sinopec Group has planned to add about over 10 million㎡ clean energy heating area in Xiongan New Area, increasing the clean energy heating area in Hebei province to over 28 million㎡. Meanwhile, Sinopec Group has also planned to set up 20 smoke-free cities during the 13th Five-Year Plan period to add 120 million㎡ of heating and cooling area.
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