China’s race to industrialize and urbanize in a single generation has taken a significant toll on the environment and quality of life. For instance, among the country’s 500 largest cities, less than 1% meet the World Health Organization’s air quality standard, more than 40% of China’s rivers are polluted, and nearly 20% of arable land is considered contaminated.
Under immense social and economic pressures, the Chinese government has committed to tackling these issues as part of its economic transition. Beijing has pledged to invest $360 billion
into renewable energy, which is expected to contribute to 27% of China’s total energy consumption by 2020. The government has also mandated that major cities should achieve “good” or “excellent” air quality at least 80% of the time in a given year.
The top-level commitment and broad policy support for greening the economy has led to significant interest among private investors, targeting sectors ranging from waste treatment and energy efficiency technologies to renewable energy and electric vehicles.
China Tianying is principally engaged in waste power generation projects, using both the build, operate and own (BOO) and build, operate, and transfer (BOT) models. As of 2016, the company operates seven projects across China with another 10 projects under construction. The company started its global expansion aggressively in 2016, having established three subsidiaries in Belgium, Hong Kong, and Canada.
The company controls more than 10% in an investment fund, which in 2016 acquired Barcelona-based waste treatment company Urbaser S.A. for about €1.2 billion. In the same year, Tianying established two subsidiaries, Europe Tianying BVBA in Belgium and Aplas Ltd. in Canada.