Buses in the Chinese capital Beijing are to use imported liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as fuel, "Beijing Morning Post" reported Thursday.
The move aims at harnessing atmospheric pollution in Beijing and helping the capital to prepare for hosting the Olympic Games in 2008, said the newspaper.
According to an agreement signed between Beijing LPG Company and businessmen from the United States and Japan, high-purity LPG will be imported from the Middle East as China is now a full member of the World Trade Organization and tariffs for foreign LPG have been slashed by 50 percent. This makes imported LPG more competitive than domestically-produced LPG in terms of pricing.
There are now 1.8 million buses operating in Beijing, contributing more than 70 percent of the environmental pollution in the city.
Using LPG as bus fuel is believed to help reduce pollution by 30 to 50 percent compared to gasoline and the cost is expected to go down by 30 percent.
Though many buses in Beijing have been refitted to use LPG, a number of bus drivers continue to use gasoline because of the low quality of the LPG now available, the irrational distribution of LPG supply centers and poor repair service, said the newspaper.
(Xinhua News Agency February 7, 2002)