Beijing begins winter heating tests

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Beijing began trial operations for winter heating Thursday, aiming to address potential problems ahead of the official start of the winter heating period on Nov. 15. During the heating period, household temperature would reach 18 degrees Celsius. Beijing residents are encouraged to call the service hotline 12345 to report any issues.

According to the authorities, Beijing has "basically achieved" city-wide coal-free heating. Wang Jiaming, a manager at Beijing District Heating Group, said that all the boilers are now heated by gas. However, boilers heated by natural gas produce nitrogen oxides, which is a major substance causing air pollution. To address this issue, Beijing District Heating Group launched its largest-ever nitrogen reduction plan in 2017. Since then, nitrogen oxide emissions from boilers have been reduced from 80 mg per cubic meter to less than 30 mg per cubic meter.

Moving further towards a goal of "green and smart heating," Beijing District Heating Group also developed a project that uses new molten salt to heat and to supply steam. Compared with using traditional gas boilers and water thermal tanks, this project adopts electric power or steam to heat rather than gas boiler, which promotes the consumption of clean energy, saves natural gas, and improves energy supply security simultaneously.

Wang also explained that, to strengthen urban heating capacity, three peak-load heat stations have been added to the four existing ones. As the largest central heating enterprise in Beijing, Beijing District Heating Group manages 388 million square meters of heating area this year, with a total of 2.3 million users, 2,015-kilometer-long pipelines, and 4,929 heat stations.

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