An ECR in Guangdong, China Week 1 (22/09/2014 – 26/09/2014)

I am Alasdair Bruce, now a 4th year Ph.D. student at the University of Edinburgh. I would most like to thank and greatly acknowledge the UKCCSRC for funding my visit to the UK-China (Guangdong) CCUS Centre and providing me with this fantastic opportunity. My 4-week exchange was immensely beneficial to my research and understanding of CCUS in China.

I would also like to thank my Dr Jia Li, Dr Xi Liang, Miss Hua Huang, Mr TieJun Zhang and Mr Hui Yang for arranging the exchange and looking after me during my stay in Guangzhou and my supervisors Dr Hannah Chalmers, Prof Gareth Harrison, and Prof Jon Gibbins.

After arriving in Hong Kong over the weekend and catching a rather clean, inexpensive, and high-speed train to Guangzhou, I arrived at the accommodation provided by the UK-China (Guangdong) CCUS Centre late on Sunday night. I met with Miss Hua Huang, the Secretary of the CCUS Centre. On Monday, we caught the company bus from the accommodation to the CCUS Centre located in the Guangdong Electric Power Design Institute (GEDI), a Chinese state-owned company with 2,000 employees and a subsidiary of the Guangdong Power Grid Company (GPGC) of the China Southern Power Grid Company Ltd. (CSG). 

A Chinese buffet-style breakfast was available and served in the cafeteria. Afterwards, I was introduced to colleaguesand familiarised myself with the CCUS Centre. I read a number of reports published by the UK-China (Guangdong) CCUS Centre, in particular, several feasibility studies of CCUS-Readiness in Guangdong Province, China (GDCCSR). I presented an introduction of my research on the operating patterns of CCS power plants and potential flexibility issues.  We discussed the implications of increased renewable integration to Guangdong’s electricity system and long-term impacts of CCS operation and flexibility.
On Thursday morning, a delegation from a potential component and technology supplier to the China Resources Power (Haifeng) Testing Platform and Demonstration Project visited the UK-China (Guangdong) CCUS Centre. They wanted to understand more about the Testing Platform at Unit 1 of the Haifeng Power Plant, the expression of interest, the bidding selection process, and their potential partners. We welcomed the delegation to the CCUS Centre and then discussed the Ph.D. research projects they are funding for two Early Career Researchers, Paul Tait and Patrick Schmidt, studying at the University of Edinburgh. They presented an introduction of their company’s profile and then spoke about their experience with post-combustion capture. Mr Hui Yang, Deputy Manager of Environment Department, Guangdong Electric Power Design Institute (GEDI), joined the meeting and then we spoke about the China Resources Power (Haifeng) Demonstration Project and the delegation’s potential involvement. They had a number of detailed questions about the pilot-scale Testing Platform and Demonstration Project that would require a comprehensive response so I worked with Mr Tiejun Zhang.

A teleconference meeting was held on both Thursday and Friday afternoon between project experts working at China Resources Power (Haifeng), the Guangdong Electric Power Design Institute (GEDI), the UK-China (Guangdong) CCUS Centre, and the University of Edinburgh. Those in attendance were Mr Hui Yang, Deputy Manager of Environment Department, GEDI; Mr Heping Zhu, Deputy Director of Technology, and Mrs Zhongshu Peng, Assistant Manager, China Resources Power (Haifeng); Dr Jia Li, University of Edinburgh; and Mr TieJun Zhang and Miss Hua Huang, UK-China (Guangdong) CCUS Centre. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the planned Testing Platform expected to be installed at Unit 1 of the Haifeng power plant. The teleconference was in Chinese so my involvement was limited, although I was able to follow the conversation. 

On Friday evening I travelled to Guangzhou city for the weekend. I visited Shamian Island, a small sandbank island in Guangzhou where the United Kingdom and France had concessions from the Qing government in the 19th century. These foreign traders and businessmen lived and worked in a row of buildings known as the Thirteen Factories, which was where the first foreign trade was allowed in China. I also visited the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a very impressive Roman Catholic stone cathedral in Guangzhou. An African-Chinese wedding was taking place.

I visited Zhujiang New Town in Guangzhou, a purpose build central business district with an impressive skyline, library, museum, and opera house. Directly south is the Guangzhou Tower a 600m multi-purpose observation tower and the 5th tallest free standing structure in the world. I also had time to see an Orchid Garden; the Guangzhou Yuexiu Park; the Yuexiushan Stadium, home of the Guangzhou Evergrande soccer team; and the Museum of the Western Han Dynasty Mausoleum of the Nanyue King.