District heating is a cost-effective, environmentally friendly system for distributing heat generated in a centralized location for residential and commercial heating requirements.
Especially suitable for densely populated areas, district heating is gaining momentum in countries such as China, where new networks are being constructed at an increasing speed.
Major supporters of this trend can be traced back to North Europe. Boasting one of the most sophisticated district heating infrastructures in the world, Finland is home to numerous leading suppliers of products related to the technology.
It is the freezing climatic conditions that, over the course of time, have led Finland to become such a strong pioneer in the field.
“Finnish companies are so strong in district heating thanks to their experience, which dates far back,” says Export Manager Maria Kalli from Vexve, a leading supplier of district heating valves. “Finland is at the leading edge both in terms of know-how and product quality. That said, it is hardly surprising that in many countries district heating infrastructure is now being built or modernized with the help of Finnish expertise.”
Demand Across the Globe
Vexve’s valve solutions are designed for the entire district heating network, starting from the power station, then making its way underground before finally reaching the individual building that is heated. Vexve valves are used in the closing and opening of these pipelines.
All Vexve products are manufactured in Finland, where the company currently has three factories. More than three quarters of sales find their way abroad to over 30 different countries, where Vexve expertise and know-how joins forces with local distributors.
According to Kalli, Vexve’s main markets fall roughly into four major destinations, each making up approximately one fourth of the company’s total sales.
“Europe is one of the major destinations for our products,” she says. “There are still many countries in Europe where district heating is not particularly widespread. Prominent new business opportunities are arising in countries such as the Netherlands, a densely populated country where only about 4% of houses are currently heated by district heating.”
In addition to Europe, other important markets for Vexve include China, Russia, and its native Finland. China is now investing heavily in district heating, while in Russia a large number of existing district heating networks are being modernized.
Needless to say, Vexve is actively looking for new markets as well. In relation to that, Kalli refers to interesting demand currently raising its head in the Middle East, where climatic conditions are quite the opposite from those in colder regions.
“Instead of district heating, the demand for energy-efficient district cooling is on the increase in the Middle East,” Kalli reveals. “Our expertise is strong in district cooling as well, because the technology involved is exactly the same. The only difference is that instead of hot water, it is cold water running through those pipelines.”
Industrial PRIME has once more found evidence that in today’s economy, environmental sustainability is an abundant source of new business opportunities. Massive global demand already exists, but the potential for growth is even greater. Come what may, Vexve is prepared to deliver its valves to locations all across the globe.
Text and image by Industrial PRIME.
tel. +358 45136 3532