SUEZ and University of Macau Partner for research and marine protection
SUEZ, together with its subsidiary, Macao Water, recently signed a framework agreement with the University of Macau (UM) to develop a partnership platform that will combine the three parties’ resources and strengths in scientific research and marine ecosystem protection. Based on the agreement, SUEZ, UM and Macao Water will conduct innovative research on near-shore marine ecosystems and water treatment technology, to protect the ocean and its biodiversity.
Suez in Asia
With a strong presence of 60+ years in South East Asia and 40+ years in Greater China, SUEZ has been helping authorities and industrial clients develop water and waste management solutions that enable cities and industries to optimize their resource management and strengthen their environment and economic performances. With 9,000+ employees and 70+ joint ventures with local partners, the Group has built 460+ water and wastewater plants, with 32+ million people benefiting from our water and waste services.
SUEZ operates China’s first PPP water contract in Macau, one of Asia’s largest hazardous waste treatment facilities in Shanghai, as well as a plastic recycling plant in Thailand. It is also a leader in Hong Kong’s waste management industry, and delivers environmental services to 20 industrial parks.
In 1985, SUEZ NWS, a joint venture between France’s SUEZ and NWS Holdings Limited from Hong Kong, acquired 85% equity in Macao Water and became its majority shareholder. Macao Water provides safe water services in Macau to ensure that the water quality meets and exceeds European sanitary standards for drinking water.
Macao Water signed a 25-year concession contract for public water supply services with the Macao-Portuguese Government in the same year (1985). The concession was extended by the Macau SAR government in 2009 till July 2030.
What the collaboration means
The collaboration will advance joint efforts in talent training and development for scientific research. It will also deliver strong academic, talent-related, technological innovation and commercialization advantages to jointly shape a complete value chain that aligns the powers of industry, academia and research to restore the marine environment and the corresponding ecosystem.
While enabling the sharing of knowledge and experience, the partnership also has an international dimension to further cement cooperation with Portugal in the marine sector, and help address urgent issues like protection of the marine environment and the biological resources in Macau and beyond.
The partnership will focus on the following key research activities:
- Research on online testing technologies to control the impact of saline tides to minimize their impact on drinking water quality in Macau;
- Research on the use of artificial intelligence and Big Data technology in water quality testing, such as smart water meters, to monitor household water consumption and leakage alerts;
- Research on treatment of pollutants in wastewater treatment plants;
- Studies on marine ecology and environmental sciences, drinking water quality and emerging pollutants, and online monitoring of drinking water quality; and
- Research on systems, methods and technologies for marine environmental engineering and coastal construction in the region.
To promote Macau’s prosperity and stability, and to achieve sustainable economic and social development, the Chinese government clearly marked 85 square kilometres of the sea area as the responsibility of Macau Special Administrative Region. This area is an important habitat for China’s white dolphins, a Grade-1 National Key Protected Species in the country. It is also ideal for a large variety of fish, thanks to the confluence of brackish, fresh water and an agreeable water temperature. This makes conservation of the entire marine ecosystem in Macau even more important.
Professor Yonghua SONG, Rector of the University of Macau, said, “As the only international comprehensive public university in Macau, we are committed to promoting social development through scientific research, regarding our expanding research on regional ocean as an important pillar of the university’s research strategy for the future. In 2019, the UM Faculty of Science and Technology established the Research Center for Regional Ocean, carrying out in-depth research on cutting-edge topics related to the marine environment and contributing to the sustainable development of Macau and the Greater Bay Area. We believe that this strategic partnership with SUEZ and Macao Water will be a model partnership among industry, academia and research in Macau.”
Francois Fevrier, Chief Executive Officer of SUEZ Asia Water, said, “This is a significant strategic partnership between the three of us. It is a manifestation of our strong desire and shared purpose for protecting the ocean. Since the late 19th century, SUEZ has been committed to preserving and restoring the planet’s natural capital: water, soil and air. I am convinced that the partnership we are announcing with the University of Macau today will further harness our strengths in the field of marine studies and environmental engineering, as well as building on the 35-year proven track record of Macao Water in providing quality services and smart water solutions in the Chinese water industry. Through close alignment among industry, academia and research, we will contribute to high-quality development in Macau and the Greater Bay Area, which will promote the sustainability of the marine ecosystem.”