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July 31, 2009

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Power plant cuts 18 months ahead

CHINA shut down small coal-fueled power plants with a total generating capacity of 54.07 million kilowatts from 2006 to the end of June this year, an energy official said yesterday.

The authorities were 18 months ahead of schedule in their goal to close 50 million kilowatts of coal-fueled generating capacity by the end of 2010, Sun Qin, deputy director of the National Energy Administration told a press conference.

Because of the closures, the average coal consumption by plants had fallen by 30 grams to 340 grams a kilowatt, which equated to 160 million tons of coal saved since the beginning of 2006.

Sulfur dioxide emissions were down by 1.06 million tons a year, and carbon dioxide emissions by 124 million tons annually, said Sun.

The proportion of generating units with capacity above 300,000 kilowatts rose to 64 percent of the total plants in operation by the end of June, up 20 percentage points from the beginning of 2006, while those with a capacity below 100,000 kilowatts dropped to 14 percent, down 16 percentage points.

Sun said the country has allocated more than 2 billion yuan (US$292 million) from the central budget since 2006 for closures of small power stations.

These funds were used to help power generation plants re-deploy workers, train laid-off staff and restructure. According to an initial estimate, the closures involved 400,000 workers nationwide.


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