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Coal usage in Beijing to be limited to low-sulfur variety

2014-08-01 16:07 CNTV Web Editor: Li Yan

Starting from this month, the use of coal in Beijing will be limited to the low-sulfur variety. These are part of efforts by authorities to tackle air pollution. The city's quality watchdog says strict controls will be implemented to enforce the policy and violators will be slapped with fines. 

A clear sign that China's officials are serious on tackling Beijing's notorious smog.

"We'll start from the source. Coal manufacturers should have their own labs, equipment and personnel to supervise product quality, to make sure all coal made and sold in Beijing meets the standard. Violators should stop selling or will be fined between 5,000 and 50,000 yuan. Users of sub-stand coal will also be fined as much as 30,000 yuan." Said Peng Yanwei, Product Quality Supervisor of Beijing Admin. of Quality and Tech. Supervison.

Since September 2013, Beijing defined low-sulfur coal as containing a maximum of 0.4 percent of sulfur by weight. It is more environmental friendly and discharges less solid pollutants into the air compared to common coal.

"Last year, civil use of coal in Beijing was 3.44 million tons. After the implementation of the new policy, there will be a 5 percent reduction in emission of solid pollutants, or about 160,000 tons." Said Peng Yanwei, Product Quality Supervisor of Beijing Admin. of Quality and Tech. Supervison.

Here in this state-owned transportation equipment factory located in the south-western suburbs of Beijing, 30,000 tons of coal is burnt each year to furnish its manufacturing and winter heating needs.

It began using low-sulfur coal last winter when the policy was first announced.

"Coal containing less sulfur is more expensive in the market. Our cost has gone up from using low sulfur coal. But we also began to purchase from multiple suppliers, and they competed to offer us prices at a lower level." Said Sun Zhicheng, Energy Manager of Beijing Feb. 7th Railway transportation Equipment Co. LTD.

Forcing the use of low-sulfur coal is a part of the city's five-year air clean up initiative. On a broader scale it is part of China's plans to slash coal consumption, promote clean-energy use and reduce the production capacity of heavy polluting industries.

This factory says it may begin using gas next year as it shifts to cleaner energy use.

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