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French green firm Veolia bullish

By ZHENG XIN | China Daily | Updated: 2023-04-06 09:05

Visitors check out the exhibition area of Veolia Group, a French environmental solutions provider, during the IE Expo China 2020, an environmental protection expo, in Shanghai in August 2020. [Photo/China Daily]

French environmental solutions provider Veolia Group expects strong growth from the Chinese market this year as China has assured greater efforts to attract foreign capital and widen market access to ensure a level playing field for both domestic and foreign companies, said a top company official.

Veolia is committed to further investing in the decarbonization and depollution sectors in the country as China's ambition to achieve carbon neutrality presented foreign companies like Veolia with numerous opportunities, said Estelle Brachlianoff, CEO of Veolia Group, in Beijing on Wednesday.

Veolia will continue to step up investment as well as expand its existing business in water, waste and energy management sectors in China this year and in the years to come, considering the strong determination of the Chinese government to combat pollution, she said.

Veolia currently serves more than 100 sites in around 50 cities in China, including the biomass district heating project in Kedong, Heilongjiang province, and a full-fledged water management project for Yanshan Sinopec Petrochemical in Beijing.

Veolia's CEO said she is very optimistic about China's economy and its operations in the country this year, because of not only its huge market size but its speed of development and its willingness to further facilitate the country's green transition with Veolia's technologies and expertise.

Citing the company's water management service for Yanshan Sinopec Petrochemical, she said it is "a significant project for Veolia in China as it demonstrates the company's capabilities in providing sustainable and efficient solutions for industrial water treatment, reuse and the restoration of biodiversity at the same time".

The company manages the full water cycle at Yanshan Sinopec Petrochemical to help the company comply with the strictest wastewater discharge regulations and to reduce its water and carbon footprint effectively. The treated wastewater is reused to restore a wetland, which is home to many rare birds, and a park for the local community.

Lin Boqiang, head of the China Institute for Studies in Energy Policy at Xiamen University, said policies that are continually optimized create massive opportunities in ecological and environmental protection in the country.

Multinational corporations in China find the country's current focus on high-quality development of a low-carbon and circular economy strategic for future business growth, Lin said.

Many foreign corporations have been stepping up efforts to align their core businesses with China's market demand, he said.

According to Brachlianoff, industrial services are key to Veolia's business growth in China, thanks to the massive demand for depollution and circular economy, ranging from water treatment, wastewater management, waste management solutions for industrial and municipal clients, as well as energy efficiency services.

"Veolia has been operating in China for more than 30 years, bringing investment, advanced technologies and operational expertise, as well as new business models to the Chinese environmental industry. As China is attaching more importance to environmental protection with focus on the development of a low-carbon and circular economy, we expect more business opportunities in the years to come," Brachlianoff said.

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