CHINA EVERBRIGHT WATER has secured a Rmb 2.585 billion public-private partnership project to transform Zhenjiang (Jiangsu Province) into a “sponge city”.

This is the Singapore-listed company's first such project.

The Zhenjiang Sponge City Project is one of 16 “sponge city” pilot projects which will receive financial support from the central government of the PRC to the tune of some Rmb 1.2 billion per city over three years.

A “sponge city”, also known as “low impact development rainwater system”, refers to a city with a water system which operates like a sponge to absorb, store, infiltrate and purify rainwater and to release the same for reuse when necessary.

The project is part of an integrated environmental water service, which involves the construction, maintenance and operation of grass channels, rain gardens, sunken green spaces, urban storm water drainage pipes, pump stations and waste water treatment plants.

400w wang tian yi 2.15
"Zhenjiang is the nation's model city for environmental protection. Its economy is well developed and it has a favorable investment and commercial environment. Our involvement in the Zhenjiang Sponge City demonstration project will pioneer the way for healthy investment returns on national sponge city projects." 

- Executive Director Wang Tianyi (NextInsight file photo)

“This project win is a milestone for our foray into the sponge city construction market,” said Executive Chairman Wang Tianyi.

The high profile government initiative seeks to address China’s problems with flooding and water shortage.

Its urban drainage infrastructure has lagged behind the rapid urbanization, with more than 200 PRC cities affected by floods in 2013.

A second problem is shortage of clean water sources: Over 60% of China’s underground water and one third of its surface water had been rated by its environment ministry in 2015 as unfit for human contact.

The Group will form a 70%-owned joint venture project company to construct, renovate and operate the Zhenjiang Sponge City Project. Zhenjiang Waterworks Corporation, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Zhenjiang municipal government, will hold 30% in the joint venture.

The project site area covers 22 square km of land and 11.5 square km of water. The project’s total investment amount has been estimated at RMB 2.585 billion. The government will contribute RMB 1.2 billion in the form of subsidies. The balance monies of RMB 1.385 billion will be contributed by the joint venture project company.

♦ Zhengrunzhou wastewater treatment plant
Waste water treatment expansion project
  • Daily designed capacity of 75,000 cubic meters
  • Compliant with the National Grade 1B water discharge standard
Advanced waste water treatment facility
  • Daily designed capacity of 200,000 cubic meters
  • Compliant with the National Grade 1A water discharge standard
  • Rainwater pump stations
  • Drainage networks
  • Rainwater storage tanks
  • Ecological restoration and repair of rivers

The Zhenjiang Sponge City Project includes the following works.

(i) Ecological restoration, repair, low impact development and renovation of pipeline networks, flooding and waterlogged areas within the project area (to be funded by the government subsidy).

(ii) Construction and operation of the Zhengrunzhou wastewater treatment plant (to be funded by the project company).

The project company will be responsible for providing engineering management services in relation to the government funded portion and for the construction and operation of the project company funded portion. A 23-year concession period has been granted to the project company for the operation of the Zhenjiang Sponge City Project.

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