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Shanghai Promotes Clean Energy Consumption

Natural gas will replace coal gas as fired-gas in Shanghai by 2010, as part of the government's plan to promote the use of clean energy, according to the city's senior official.

"Shanghai is making every efforts to diversify its energy sources and utilize more clean energy. Natural gas will play a key role in the process," said Yu Beihua, deputy director of the Shanghai Development and Reform Commission.

He said natural gas will entirely replace coal gas as fired-gas and will make up 10 percent of the city's primary source of energy by 2010.

Coal now accounts for 60 percent of energy produced in Shanghai, China's largest energy consumer, down 12 percent since 1994.

Shanghai currently has two sources of natural gas, one is from the Pinghu Natural Gas Field in East Sea, about 360 kilometers offshore from Shanghai. The other is from the Changqing gas field from northwest China's Shaanxi Province through the giant east-west pipeline project.

"Without the gas from the west, Shanghai would have had a hard time last winter," said Xu Dingming, director general of the Energy Bureau under the State Development and Reform Commission of China.

He added that Shanghai will use natural gas from the Tarim Basin in northwestern China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region through the east-west pipeline by the end of this year.

Shanghai's natural gas consumption is expected to double to 1 billion cubic metres (BCM), compared with 500 million last year.

A total of 600,000 to 1 million households will use natural gas instead of coal in the next few years.

He estimated that gas consumption would jump to 1.8BCM by 2005 and increased to 8 BCM in 2010. A total of 5.2 billion yuan (US$632 million) will be poured into projects.

To sustain the growth, various infrastructures should be in place, including urban pipeline construction.

Furthermore, the city plans to follow Guangdong, Fujian and Zhejiang Provinces in building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project to import LNG from foreign countries.

The project is now under assessment and is awaiting the central government's approval.

(China Daily April 2, 2004)

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