• Beijing Shuts Down Coal Power Plant

Beijing Shuts Down Coal Power Plant (Photo : Getty Images)

In line with its green development campaign, Beijing shut down the last large-scale coal-fired power plant in the city. This means that only clean energy can be utilized by the capital for all its electricity and heating.

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The announcement for the shutdown was made in the municipal government work report released in January. Beijing’s move last Saturday is part of its efforts to reduce carbon emissions and improve the quality of air.

The power plant is located in eastern Beijing. Huaneng Group, one of China’s top-five power generation companies, owns the plant.

The 18-year-old plant, which has an installed generation capacity of 845,000 kilowatts, supplies heating for an area covering 30 million square kilometers 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,” Beijing Mayor Cai Qi said.

According to Cai, a new power plant is under construction and will be operating soon. The new plant will be fuelled by natural gas, he said, adding that the municipal government will give support to the company during the transition.

The shutdown of the plant will reduce coal consumption by 1.76 million metric tons a year, and cut sulfur dioxide emissions by 91 tons, oxynitride emissions by 285 tons and dust by 110 tons, according to Huaneng Group.

In Dec. 2011, Huaneng Beijing Thermal Power Plant finished the construction of the second phase of a thermal power plant fuelled by natural gas, said Du Chengzhang, head of the company that owns the coal-fired plant.

The second phase of the new plant has started its operation during the 2012-2013 heating season. The third phase will undergo a test run in June.

“Providing green energy has been the company’s aim for years,” Du said.

In the recent years, Beijing has shut down four major large-scale coal-fired plants, corresponding to the call for a green development.