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Industry gets new guidelines
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China yesterday published the nation's first energy-saving standards for cement manufacturing plants to further increase the industry's energy efficiency.

Published by the Ministry of Construction, the standards covered every aspect of cement manufacturing, including plant construction, manufacturing technology, power systems and equipment use. Some articles are compulsory.

The standards are a part of the End-Use Energy Efficiency Program of the Chinese government, run in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program. The project aims to dramatically improve the efficiency of China's major energy users: commercial and residential buildings, and heavy industries, such as iron, steel, cement and petrochemicals.

"By using the new standards, cement plants can reduce energy use by about 15 percent," Vice-Chairman of the China Cement Association Zeng Xuemin said.

The association's chairman Lei Qianzhi said that in the period of the 11th-Five Year Plan (2006-10), China would cut energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) in the cement industry by 25 percent, or by 5 percent annually.

Last year, the industry's total energy consumption was equivalent to 131 million tons of coal. Energy consumption per unit of GDP in the sector was 12.56 tons of coal equivalent in 2006, down 10.68 percent from 2005.

The Chinese government has pledged to cut energy consumption per unit of GDP by 20 percent and reduce pollutant emissions by 10 percent in the five years before 2010.

Cement accounts for nearly half of China's construction material. By 1985, the country was already the world's largest cement producer. But many domestic cement companies still use outdated technology, resulting in significant energy waste and pollution.

The 10 biggest cement companies in the world currently control about 80 percent of the industry, while the 10 biggest Chinese companies only account for 20 to 30 percent of the Chinese market, Lei said.

To further consolidate the industry, 60 key cement companies will become industry leaders, according to the National Development and Reform Commission, the nation's top economic planning body.

(China Daily November 15, 2007)

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