Coal boilers are to be shifted out of urban areas in Xi'an to clean up the air in the Shaanxi Province capital.
Residents and tourists should soon be able to enjoy clear blue skies and fresh air as the carbon monoxide and dust are sent packing with the boilers, says Yang Shu, an official with the city government.
Boilers to be replaced
It will take until the end of October to replace the remaining 1,074 boilers still in use with gas, oil and electric boilers and central heating.
Any boilers which cannot be adapted to gas, oil or electricity will be fired with high-quality coal that produces much less amount of carbon monoxide and dioxide.
In 2002 there was a concentrated effort to replace coal boilers in Xi'an's urban areas, but there were no means to get rid of those remaining.
Since the improvement of infrastructure in Xi'an and a better financial situation, the local government has been able to fund the work to remove the boilers, which contribute up to 62 per cent of the dust and air pollution, Yang said.
And boilers which have a capacity of more than 10 tons must start using clean coal, Yang said.
Not only urban areas are affected.
In any suburban areas where there are tourist sites, existing boilers must be replaced, according to government sources.
A ban will be placed on building any new coal boilers, the official said.
(China Daily August 3, 2004)