Beijing’s final coal plant closes in natural gas switch

Beijing’s final coal plant closes in natural gas switch

The last large-scale coal power plant in Beijing has closed, marking a symbolic stage in the Chinese capital’s switchover to natural gas powered electricity.

The closure of the Huangneng Beijing Thermal Power Plant completes an objective laid out in 2013 which aimed to make Beijing the country’s first city to have all of its power facilities fuelled by natural gas.

The plant is the fourth of its kind to be closed since the 2013 five-year clean air action plan was tabled. These closures have cut nearly 10 million tonnes of coal emissions annually.

Beijing Mayor Cai Qi said: “Replacing coal with clean energy is not only to deal with air pollution but also a requirement of the company’s transformation.”

The decision to shut down the plant was made after China’s annual legislative sessions and following the recent issuing of a blue alert for heavy air pollution by municipal authorities.

At the annual parliament, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced a plan to significantly reduce China’s urban smog problem under the slogan: “We will make our skies blue again.”