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Small Power Generating Units to Be Closed
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China will close many small power generating units which now produce more than 10 percent of the country's electricity, said Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan on Monday at a broad national conference on energy conservation and emission reduction.

Small power generating units around the country consume 400 million tons of coal while emitting 5.4 million tons of sulfur dioxide and producing 115 million kilowatts a year, Zeng said.

Over the next four years, more that half the power that comes from small generating units, about 60 million kilowatts, will be turned off.

China produces about 530 million kilowatts of electricity annually from all sources.

A small power generating unit is defined as one that produces less than 50,000 kilowatts.

Delegates from 30 provinces, major power groups and grid companies attended the meeting. They signed contracts with the National Development and Reform Commission confirming their plans to close small power generators, according to a circular from the commission which was faxed to Xinhua and provides details of the meeting's discussion. The circular did not provide an estimate on the number of small power generators that will be closed. "The restructuring of the power industry should be accelerated, with a number of large and highly-efficient generating units being constructed," the Vice Premier was quoted as saying by the circular.

The Vice Premier underscored the need to develop clean and renewable energy. The delegates to the meeting passed a resolution saying no new small thermal power projects will be launched, said the circular.

Participants at the meeting agreed efforts should be redoubled over the next four years to develop clean energy projects such as hydropower, nuclear power and small coal-fired or oil-fired power generating units should be replaced with large, coal-fired units.

The plan will save the equivalent of 50 million tons of coal and reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by 1.6 million tons, said the circular.

(Xinhua News Agency January 30, 2007)

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