Sino-Norwegian air pollution projects


Courtesy of

A co-operation was established in 1995 to start the development of air quality management systems in China. The areas selected for planning were: Yantai for a monitoring and planning system for air and water quality; and Guangzhou for an air pollution optimal abatement planning tool. The projects were based upon a modern environmental surveillance and information system, developed in Norway.

Based on available measurements of air and water pollution, a screening study was launched to identify the possibilities and form the basis for a detailed plan.

The air pollution part of this system is called AirQUIS surveillance and planning system. In Guangzhou the plans for an optimal abatement strategy planning tool was based upon a technique developed for the World Bank for undertaking the URBAIR project.

Funds were made available from the Norwegian Dept. of Foreign Aid and Development, NORAD, to initiate a co-operative work with Chinese partners to establish the projects.

Sino-Norwegian air pollution projects


Environmental Surveillance and Information System

The area
Yantai City is located in the Shandong Province about 500 km east of Beijing on the eastern tip of the Shandong Peninsula. An existing monitoring network covered air, water, noise and waste. Since 1985 the Monitoring Station has been awarded excellent by NEPA and by the Shandong Province EPA. An upgrading of the existing monitoring network was needed, to follow the commitment from Chinese authorities to YEMC (Yantai Environmental Protection Monitoring Centre). It should thus represent the best possible background for receiving the first prototype of modern environmental surveillance and information system as provided by NILU and its Norwegian partners.

Sino-Norwegian air pollution projects

Goals and Project content

The main goal and objectives for the project were:

  • Develop and establish an environmental management and planning system; «Environmental Surveillance and Information System» for Yantai,
  • Evaluate, update and improve the air and water monitoring system by additional measurements (parameters and measurement points), in Yantai,
  • Transfer tools and knowledge to the extent necessary to enable the Yantai counterparts to continue the Air Quality Management Strategy work in a qualified fashion.

The existing surveillance system will be improved and upgraded in co-operation with the Chinese partners to develop a modern environmental surveillance and information system for Yantai. This means to provide the information needed about the air and water quality, and to provide on-line data and information transfer and a more or less direct and remote quality control of the data collection. This requires that continuous measurements are made available at the necessary number of monitoring stations, to be combined with the results from the samples analysed in the laboratory after manual sampling. It will be possible to combine the results with other environmental information into modelling and water resources planning.

Tasks and responsibilities

To undertake the project tasks and responsibilities were shared between Norwegian and Chinese partners.

Project development

Through 1997, development of the system for use in China was modified and adapted to the use in Yantai. Good contact has been kept between the co-operative partners, and exchange of information has taken place through meetings and workshops. Procurement and purchase of necessary equipment was undertaken and during the summer of 1998, however, both air and water monitoring equipment was installed in Yantai.

Mutual co-operation

The partners in China have been the State Science and Technology Commission (SSTC), with Yantai Environmental Protection Monitoring Centre (YEMC) as the executive institution. From Norway the Norwegian Institute for Air Reseach (NILU), the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) and the NORGIT Centre (ENSIS group) have appointed the international experts. The project leader has been Trond Bøhler at NILU.

Sino-Norwegian air pollution projects

Summary results and experiences

The project has been reported through annual reports. A few comments from these reports are briefly presented in the following:

  1. It has been of great interest to benefit from knowledge and experience gained through the project involving two different countries with different history and culture.
  2. Five locations for online monitoring of air quality have been installed successfully.
  3. The emission inventories performed by the Chinese experts, after guidance from Norway, has been performed very professionally.
  4. The establishment of models, model areas and population distributions has successfully been undertaken in a close co-operation.
  5. Maps and codes for the catchment of the River Jia, including 321 point sources, 18 manual sampling stations and 3 monitoring stations have been provided by the Chinese side.
  6. For the development of the computer platform, a server and a client had to be sent to Norway for configuration.
  7. Training has been successfully implemented.
  8. On-the-job training for use of all equipment included use of models for planning purposes.


Air Quality Planning

The area
Guangzhou is on the coast of the South China Sea and 182 kilometres away from Hong Kong, it is China’s largest and most prosperous city in the south, an important seaport for foreign trade and a famous historical and cultural city over 2,000 years old.

Guangzhou is located within the Tropic of Cancer and has no real winter. It grows three crops of rice a year and plenty of fruits. Flowers are in blossom all the year round, so Guangzhou is called «the City of Flowers.»

Sino-Norwegian air pollution projects


The main objectives of the co-operation project has been to:

  • Develop an air quality management and planning system for Guangzhou based upon the AQMS concept.
  • Develop an air quality action plan as part of a city Environmental Master plan to reduce the air pollution in Guangzhou. This priority list of actions should be part of the Government Agenda 21 for the Environment.
  • Update and improve the monitoring system by additional measurements; parameters and measurement points, in Guangzhou.

Scope of Work

To meet the objectives the project included:

  • the development of emission inventories,
  • the use of dispersion models,
  • the assessment of air quality,
  • improvement of the monitoring system,
  • the assessment of air quality impact,
  • development of control options,
  • a cost benefit analysis.

The improvement of the monitoring system included the establishment of at least one online monitoring station for direct information on air pollution and meteorology in Guangzhou.

Additional items specified by the Guangzhou Municipal Science and Technology Commission has been added using the tools provided as part of the main items mentioned above. Other items, which required further development of tools were:

  • Study of motor vehicle pollution and photochemical smog,
  • Study of energy consumption and coal smoke pollution,
  • Establishment of air pollution forecast system.

Such items were discussed during the project plans development and during the first phase of the project. Activities and institutions necessary to carry the necessary tasks included in the System for Air Quality Management that is a prerequisite for establishing the Strategy for Air Quality Management (AQMS) was identified.

The immediate tasks undertaken as a first phase of the study in Guangzhou were to:

  • start collecting available air quality information,
  • prepare data for modelling activities,
  • outline the work necessary for obtaining the complete assessment,
  • estimate the effects of alternative abatement/control measures.

The cost benefit or cost effectiveness analyses was initiated in a later phase of the project.

Work and responsibilities

Our partners in Guangzhou have been the Guangzhou Municipal Science and Technology Commission together with the Guangzhou Research Institute of Environmental Protection Sciences (GRIEPS).

The Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) has on behalf of NORCE been the project co-ordinator from the Norwegian side. Project manager has been Steinar Larssen from NILU.

Guangzhou abatement strategies

Some conclusions may be presented based on the description of action plans.

The target for annual average for SO2 can be met quite easily at low total annual costs. The least cost package consists of cogeneration in 8 industrial facilities, shut down of a group of small power plants and sorbent injection in all 55-60 large point sources. The net annual costs will be less than RMB 70 mill.

For NOx the control options covered in the study will not be sufficient to meet the stated targets. There are two important reasons for this:

  • background levels represent high shares of target concentration levels
  • traffic also account for high shares of contributions to concentrations and the control options for traffic are not very effective.

As for TSP we concluded that three options, cogeneration, shut down of small power plants and high effective ESP on 11 sources, will reduce total emissions of combustion particles by 40,000-50,000 tons, or 35-40% from 1995 level. The total costs will be small, and all three options should be feasible.

Guangzhou as `model city`

Mr. Wu, director of the Guangzhou Institute for Environmental Protection, has strongly emphasised the goal of Guangzhou authorities that Guangzhou should strive to become an “Environmental Model City” (EMC) by 2001. There are certain criteria which should be fulfilled to become an EMC in China, such as:

  • Environmental management should be among the top 10 in China;
  • It should be a sanitary model city;
  • Environmental Investment should be > 1.5% of GDP;
  • National Air quality guidelines must be met.

The goal of the authorities is to make Guangzhou a model city within 3 years. This goal constitute a major challenge for our project, particularly to develop a short-term action plan that would assist GZ in reaching its goal.

Summary results and experiences

Transfer of knowledge and tools and the exchange/training program have progressed mostly according to plans. The planned first Air Quality Management Analysis sequence was completed in 1998. Its purpose was to be a «trial run» to provide training in the type of analysis, which is necessary to develop an action plan, prioritised according to cost analysis.

The improvement of the monitoring system has led to new instruments which are put into operation. Guidance on data quality procedures was given.

A draft Action Plan was developed, listing a number of viable abatement measures for various source categories, looking at the pollutants SO2, NOx and particles. The measures have been prioritised according to their potential for reducing the air pollution exposure of the population.

As a final conclusion it has been stated from the project team of the Guangzhou project that the co-operation and the work performed within a relatively advanced scientific project has been very positive. It has been of great interest to benefit from know-ledge and experience gained through the project involving two different countries with different history and culture.

Customer comments

No comments were found for Sino-Norwegian air pollution projects. Be the first to comment!