In less than one year, COWI China has won five major projects in a heavily-investing region. And more projects are in the pipeline.
In July 2012, a delegation from the Chinese city of Nanjing visited Denmark and inspects Copenhagen’s Green Lighthouse, a multipurpose low-carbon building. Then, things picked up speed.
COWI subsequently won the contract for a sister building – the Nanjing Lighthouse – which will serve as a model for sustainable construction in China. The contract was won along with an urban development plan for the region’s 20 km² high tech industrial zone.
Other agreements followed; the strategic industrial development plan for a 210 km² industrial development zone and the Pukou District Planning Exhibition Hall.
“The projects in Nanjing are and important part in the realization of COWI´s goals in China focusing on sustainable urban development and energy solutions,” says Mogens Heering, Senior Vice President for COWI China.
Excellent markets for COWI
Nanjing is the capital city of the Jiangsu province, which is not just any province in China; Jiangsu is an economic hub, demonstrating the highest GDP per capita of all of China’s provinces.
The region is investing heavily. In recent years, it has increased its focus on sustainable energy, technology and the pharmaceutical industry.
“The Nanjing and Jiangsu provinces are excellent markets for COWI,” says Anders Thyge Egeberg, Managing Director of COWI China.
“The region’s economic growth means that there is an increasing need for good indoor air quality and sustainable urban development that strengthens the environment and reduces energy consumption. Those are some of COWI’s core competencies, and areas in which both COWI and Denmark excel.”
Strong local presence
Another crucial factor in the Nanjing breakthrough has been COWI’s local presence in China. The local COWI employees in China work as a bridge over the cultural and linguistic gaps that are inevitable in global collaborations.
Egeberg stresses that the company’s continued growth in Jiangsu will depend on the company’s ability to maintain a strong local presence.
“It will require a combination of local knowledge and international specialists entering into partnerships with local decision-makers and the Danish companies which are moving into the region.”
On 25 June, the Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Building, Martin Lidegaard, met with Heering and Egeberg in Nanjing for a groundbreaking ceremony of the new Green Lighthouse.