Xiantao Waste-to-Energy Plant, Hubei, China

In 2016, Xiantao Government temporarily suspended a waste incineration project following mass protests over environmental and health concerns. The project recommenced in 2017 and was put in operation during 2018.


Located at the Jianghan Plain in the middle of Hubei province, Xiantao is known as "Hometown of Gymnastics" in Hubei Province, China. It created a miracle of "a small town, two champions, three gold medals, and four medals." at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

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Basic Data
NameXiantao Waste-to-Energy Plant, Hubei, China
SiteZhengrenkou Village, Ganhe Subdistrict, Xiantao City
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Waste Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Incinerators
Specific CommoditiesElectricity
Domestic municipal waste
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe project is based on a BOT agreement (Build-Operate-Transfer) jointly built by the municipal government and Green Oriental Environmental Protection Co., Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary in Yingfeng Environmental Technology Group). [8]

The project is located in Zhengrenkou Village, Ganhe Subdistrict and covers 120 mu (8 ha). It started the construction in June 2014, with an estimated investment of CNY 258,68 million (~ USD 38 million). As of the end of June 2016, 80% of construction has been completed, involving an investment of nearly CNY 200 million. [8]

The total design daily garbage disposal capacity is 1,200 tons, the annual disposal of garbage is about 400,000 tons, and the annual on-grid energy is about 120 million kilowatt hours. [8]

The daily garbage disposal capacity of the Phase I Project is 500 tons. The total investment amount of the Phase I Project is CNY 250 million, which is mainly used for the building of one 500 t/day reversed operated inclined reciprocating grate furnace and one 9MW condensing steam turbine generator set. [8]

The flue gas treatment adopts the technology of “SNCR denitration in the furnace + semi-dry spray reaction column + activated carbon adsorption + bag dust collector”, being supported by the ancillary engineering such as the auxiliary combustion device for diesel and the water supply and drainage system, and the storage and transportation and environmental protection engineering such as diesel storage tank, coal ash pond, the system for the collection and treatment of leachate, flue gas purification system and fly ash treatment system. [8]

At present, the municipal solid waste from the downtown of Xiantao City and the surrounding villages and towns such as Xinchang Town, Zhanggou Town, Huchang Town, and Changshangkou Town is accepted to realize the harmless, reduced and reclaimed garbage disposal. [8]

It's estimated that the project can save 30 mu (2h) landfill area every year. The project was designed for 20 years and expected to be completed in 2016. [8]

According to the environmental assessment report for the completion and acceptance of the Xiantao MSW-to-Energy Project (Phase I), the population in its environmental protection area (3 km) is about 80,000. [11]
Project Area (in hectares)8
Level of Investment (in USD)38,000,000
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population80,000
Start Date06/2016
End Date2016
Company Names or State EnterprisesYingfeng Environmental Technology Group Co., Ltd from China - Shenzhen Green Oriental Environmental Protection Co., Ltd
Shenzhen Green Oriental Environmental Protection Co., Ltd from China - builder
Relevant government actors-the municipal government of Xiantao City

-Xiantao Environmental Protection Bureau

-the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China in Xiantao

-Hubei Provincial Development and Reform Commission

-the Environmental Protection Department of Hubei Province

-Municipal People's Congress of Urban and Rural Construction and Environmental Resources Protection Committee

-Xiantao Ecology and Environment Bureau
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingNeighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Development of a network/collective action
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution
Potential: Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Other Environmental impacts
Otherdioxin emissions
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Other environmental related diseases
Otherexposure to air pollution
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Other socio-economic impacts
Otherdecrease of housing value
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseTechnical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Application of existing regulations
Project temporarily suspended
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The project was suspended under the protest of the residents, but it was restarted in 2017 and completed in 2018 for trial operation.
Sources and Materials

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[7] 10k Xiantao residents protest waste incinera-tion plant despite project’s suspension (accessed on 2019-03-03)
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[3]鄂万民上街维权 仙桃污染项目停建 (accessed on 2017-09-03)
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[1]湖北仙桃暂缓建设垃圾焚烧发电项目,称征求市民意见后再决定 (accessed on 2017-09-03)
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[9] Xiantao residents accuse govt of not collecting garbage to pressure protesters (accessed on 2019-03-03)
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[8] MSW-to-energy Project in Xiantao City, Hubei (accessed on 2019-03-03)
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[4] Protesting Chinese Waste Plant, Tens of Thousands Clash With Armed Riot Po-lice (accessed on 2017-09-03)
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[6]湖北仙桃民众抗议垃圾焚烧厂 市长宣布停建 (accessed on 2017-09-03)
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[5]湖北仙桃十万人游行 反建垃圾焚烧厂(accessed on 2017-09-03)
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[10]仙桃市人大建议重启生活垃圾焚烧发电项目建设(accessed on 2017-09-03)
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[2] Construction of waste incineration plant halted (accessed on 2019-03-03)
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[12]Chinese city puts plans for waste-burning plant on hold as protesters take to the streets(accessed on 2018-03-05)
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[11]仙桃市生活垃圾焚烧发电厂(一期)项目竣工环境保护验收信息公示(accessed on 2019-03-03)
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Media Links

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湖北仙桃十万人游行 反建垃圾焚烧厂(游行示威)
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仙桃垃圾焚烧发电项目事件(2016 6 25)完整
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Other Documents

Boycotting slogans for waste incineration "For future generations"
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The police brutally arrested the female demonstrator
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Xiantao‘s street demonstrators
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Boycotting slogans for waste incineration "Boycott waste incineration"" Restore Xiantao's clear water and blue sky ""Maintain family health"
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Meta Information
ContributorEnvJustice, ICTA-UAB/2017 NWAFU interns
Last update05/03/2019