BEIJING, July 23 Beijing has closed the first of
four large coal-fired power plants set to be decommissioned as
part of the city's efforts to cut air pollution, official news
agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday, citing the local planning
Xinhua said the authorities had shut down the Gaojing
Thermal Power Plant's six 100 megawatt generating units. The
plant is owned by the China Datang Corporation, one
of China's big five state power firms.
In the face of growing public anger about persistent smog in
the Chinese capital, the government has been under intense
pressure to cut coal use and relocate industry.
Beijing's three remaining coal-fired power plants are all to
be closed by the end of 2016.
The city is planning to reduce coal use by 2.6 million
tonnes this year and a total of 9.2 million tonnes by the end of
2016, leaving its annual consumption at less than 10 million
tonnes by 2017.
It plans to fill the gap filled by building new natural
gas-fired power stations and bringing in electricity from other
The city is also introducing tougher new fuel standards. It
said earlier this year it would draw up new plans to ease
traffic, which may include a congestion charge.
Average readings of tiny airborne particles that are
hazardous to health, called PM2.5, reached 91.6 micrograms per
cubic metre in the first half of 2014, down 11.2 percent year on
year, official data from the Ministry of Environmental
The figure stood at an average of 89.5 mcg per cubic metre
last year, and Beijing plans to bring it down to 60 mcg by 2017.
In 2013, PM2.5 concentrations in 74 cities monitored by the
Chinese authorities averaged 72 mcg per cubic metre, more than
twice China's recommended national standard of 35 mcg.
The Beijing Municipal Research Institute on Environmental
Protection said earlier this month that Beijing was likely to
reach the recommended standard by 2030 at the earliest.
(Reporting by David Stanway)