China to Bolster Energy Infrastructure

China will continue its effort to build and reinforce energy infrastructure to ensure it's friendly to the economy and the environment over the next five years.

And the state will focus more on policies and measures that will help with energy development in central and western China.

A national energy official in Beijing released these promises as part of the draft tenth Five-Year Plan (2001-05).

"Energy development will be an important part of the national plan," said Song Chaoyi, deputy director of the Department of Basic Industries of the State Development Planning Commission.

Song said that for the next five years, assuming the total energy output meets the needs of development, the government will work to adjust the energy consumption structure.

"An inadequate structure has become an obstacle to further energy development," Song told the 2001 Sino-German New Technology Workshop on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Song said China's energy production and consumption for the next five years will be based on two principles.

First, China's energy consumption will mainly depend on domestic supply. Second, clean energy development will be a top priority.

The following are some of the highlights of the draft tenth Five-Year development program in energy sector:

-- China will focus on the construction of coal mines and coal processing plants, promoting the development of clean coal technology.

-- On oil and natural gas, the country will build sea oil and gas supply bases and establish a domestic oil storage programme.

-- For electric power, the state will strengthen construction and restructuring of distribution networks in both urban and rural areas as well as transmission networks. It will also speed up construction of facilities to transmit electricity from the western parts of the country to the east.

-- For new and renewable energy, China will accelerate localization of production of wind-power equipment and find a solution for those people living in regions without power supply.

-- For energy efficiency, China will implement pilot projects on energy conservation in large energy consuming industries.

(China Daily 02/22/2001)

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