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1st offshore wind power generator begins operation
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China's first offshore wind power station, located in Liaodong Bay in the northeast Bohai Sea, was officially put into operation on Wednesday.

The wind power station was built by the China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC), the country's largest offshore oil producer, with an investment of 40 million yuan (5.4 million U.S. dollars).

It kicked off trial operation on Nov. 8, and had generated 200,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity by Nov. 26.

The generating unit is fixed to a jacket structure of the CNOOC's Suizhong 36-1 oil field, which is 70 kilometers offshore in the Bohai Sea, with a five-meter-long submarine cable linking the unit with the central platform of the oil field for power supply.

"This is the first wind power station in the world designed for power supply to offshore oil and gas fields," said Zhou Shouwei, CNOOC's deputy general manager.

The unit is expected to reach an annual output of 4.4 million kilowatt-hours, which is equal to saving 1,100 tons of diesel oil annually and also the reduction of 3,500 tons of carbon dioxide and 11 tons of sulfur dioxide, according to Zhou.

The Chinese government has been promoting the use of renewable energy, including wind power and solar power, amid efforts to shift from heavy reliance on coal.

China's installed capacity of wind power reached 2.3 million kilowatt-hours in 2006, and is expected to hit 5 million by the end of 2007. According to a government plan, this number should reach 30 million kilowatt-hours by 2020.

China's offshore wind power capacity is almost three times that of onshore capacities, said Wang Jingquan, an academic with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

(Xinhua News Agency November 29, 2007)

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