Hong Kong’s First Zero-Carbon Chiller System Project

Electricity consumption cut by over 50%

Carbon emissions reduced by 7,000 tonnes a year

Project puts Chinachem Group on course to achieve Carbon Reduction Goals

Buildings account for about 90% of electricity consumption in Hong Kong and generate more than 50% of the city’s carbon emissions. Implementing energy-saving measures in buildings is therefore an effective way to combat climate change. One of Hong Kong’s leading property developers Chinachem Group champions green buildings. The company’s landmark Nina Tower – the tallest building in the New Territories – is a 180,000 square metre complex comprising a hotel, offices, a shopping mall, and public space. CLPe has custom-made a chiller system under a Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) agreement to enhance energy efficiency and significantly lower emissions from the complex, helping Chinachem Group achieve its carbon reduction goals.

Challenges and Solutions

  • Creating a reliable and sustainable cooling system

    CLPe experts took multiple factors into account in designing the cooling system for Nina Tower, including the sustainability and efficiency of the system, the future business development of the complex, and Chinachem Group’s long-term carbon reduction goals. The system is being installed under a 20-year service agreement and will go into service in phases between 2024 and 2027.

  • Addressing the varying needs of a multi-purpose complex

    Nina Tower is a multi-purpose complex comprising offices, shops, a hotel, and public space. The demand for air conditioning therefore varies from area to area. The CLPe team had to ensure the total capacity of the chiller plants was sufficient to meet peak demand while saving energy overall and reducing operating costs for the complex.

    Nina Tower is a twin tower complex of 80 and 42-storey blocks, with the tallest building more than 300 metres high. The CLPe team planned meticulously for the distribution of the chiller plants and drew up a strategy for chiller rooms at higher levels to ensure safety and stability during the installation process.

The new water-cooled air conditioning system at Nina Tower is the first zero-carbon chiller system in Hong Kong.

Value Created for the Customer

  • Achieving carbon reduction targets

    The new water-cooled air conditioning system at Nina Tower will provide a maximum capacity of 9,300 refrigeration tonnes, delivering higher energy efficiency than the existing system. It is controlled by an AI management system, PlantPRO, which draws on machine learning technology to collect data and analyse air conditioning demand, performing real-time monitoring and adjustments to provide the complex with the most energy-efficient air conditioning possible. Electricity consumption of the new air conditioning system will fall by more than 50%, equivalent to a reduction of 7,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year.

    The system will help Chinacham Group achieve its goal of reducing carbon intensity by 2030 by 51.8% compared with 2020 levels. The electricity consumed by the chiller plants at Nina Tower will be matched by an equal amount of Green Electricity Certificates linked to renewable energy projects by CLP Holdings, making it Hong Kong’s first zero-carbon chiller system project.

  • A one-stop service from design to operation and maintenance

    Under the BOOT agreement, CLPe will provide funding as well as design and installation for the new system. Engineers will be on site to operate and maintain the system around the clock, while Chinachem Group pays a monthly service fee throughout the contract period. This arrangement minimises investment costs for Chinachem Group, freeing up resources and allowing it focus on developing other businesses.