The site of the recently closed down
Beijing Coking and Chemical Works hold a media tour in Beijing February
27, 2007. The plant has halted its production for the sake of Beijing's
air quality,according to an official statement.[chinadaily.com.cn]
Beijing has closed down a coal gas
plant, a major polluter, located in the southeast suburb to honor the "Green
Olympics" commitment, according to Zhang Xiwen, head of the Beijing Coking and
Chemistry Plant, during a Tuesday media tour.
Cameramen capture the scene at the
Beijing Coke and Chemistry Plant on Tuesday, February 27, 2007. Twenty-two
reporters from 14 foreign media organizations visited the plant, which was
once the greatest source of pollution in Beijing. [BOCOG]
The ever-major source of air
pollution has been under evaluation, conducted by the Beijing Municipal
Commission of Urban Planning, and is likely to be transformed into an industrial
relics park. "The park may become a part of the city's industrial tourism
project and a relaxing place for citizens," said Zhang.
The coal gas producer, built in 1959, however, has gradually reduced
production since Beijing won the bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games in 2001 and
finally stopped production on July 23, 2006.
"We had to halt production sooner or later," Beijing Gas Corporation vice
president Li Yongcheng told chinadaily.com.cn, "because there is increasing air
pollution and a decline in production capacity." Part of the revised plant has
been moved to Tangshan, a city in neighboring Hebei Province.
Beijing is expected to see annual 2.96 million-ton coal consumption
reduction, 7,500-ton sulfur dioxide reduction, 7,321-ton smoke emission
reduction, 750-ton waste water reduction and a 2,032-ton chemical oxygen demand
reduction, thus contributing significantly to the environmental protection of
the capital, following the plant's shutdown.
The 48 year-old Beijing Coking and Chemistry Plant was the first gas plant in
the capital and it used to be a major gas producer for the city with a daily
production of 1.8 million cubic meters of coal gas.
Other high-pollution plants, such as the Beijing Shougang Group, have also
ceased production ahead of the Olympics. China's fourth largest steel maker in
west Beijing halted production in 2005. The Group will also wind up its massive
move to Hebei by 2010.