Powering down: Unit supervisor Liu Yong shutting down the last coal-fired power plant in Beijing. — China Daily
BEIJING: Beijing shut down its last large-scale coal-fired power plant, meaning that the capital now uses only clean energy for all electricity and heating.
The measure taken on Saturday, which was announced in the municipal government work report released in January, is part of the city’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality.
The power plant, located in eastern Beijing, is owned by Huaneng Group, one of China’s top-five power generation companies.
With an installed generation capacity of 845,000 kilowatts, the 18-year-old plant provides heating for an area covering 30 million km² in southeastern Beijing.
“Replacing coal with clean energy is not only to deal with air pollution but also a requirement of the company’s transformation,” said Cai Qi, mayor of Beijing.
Cai said a new power plant that will use natural gas as fuel is under construction and will start operating soon, adding that the municipal government will provide support to the company during transition.
According to Huaneng Group, the shutdown of the plant will cut coal consumption by 1.76 million metric tonnes a year, and reduce sulphur dioxide emissions by 91 tonnes, oxynitride emissions by 285 tonnes and dust by 110 tonnes.
Du Chengzhang, head of Huaneng Beijing Thermal Power Plant, the owner of the coal-fired plant, said the company completed the construction of the second phase of a thermal power plant that uses natural gas as fuel in December 2011. It began operating during the 2012-13 heating season, and the third phase will get a test run in June.
“Providing green energy has been the company’s aim for years,” Du said.
Beijing has shut down four major large-scale coal-fired plants in recent years. — China Daily/Asia News Network