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Cleaner vehicles to replace 'dirty' ones
By Li Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-11-18 01:31

Beijing plans to crack down on 300,000 vehicles with high emissions in a bid to clean up the city's soupy smog.

More than 12,000 old taxis are expected to be changed by the end of this year, and a further 21,000 cabs are scheduled to be renewed next year, said the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau.

Ji Lin, vice-mayor of Beijing, said more than 90 per cent of the city's 60,000-plus cabs are expected to be replaced by low-emission cars by 2007.

Moreover, as of next year, more than 5,000 old buses, called "inkfish" for the heavy black smoke that comes out of their exhaust pipes, will be replaced by new ones that use clear energy such as natural gas, said Ji.

The city also plans to tighten its automobile emissions standard to Euro III on the second half of next year.

Beijing just adopted the Euro II standard last year. The speedy standard upgrade is the result of urgent appeals for clean air and a soaring number of vehicles, said the environmental protection bureau.

Beijing now has 2.3 million vehicles. Their exhausts are one of the four major sources of pollution in the capital.

The other three sources are industrial wastes, smoke from burning coal and dust from construction sites.

Automobile emissions account for more than half of the city's nitrogen dioxide and hydrocarbon.

Vehicle exhausts contribute 23 per cent of the city's suspended particles that rank first among major atmospheric pollutants, said Du Shaozhong, vice-director of the bureau.

He said the average density of suspended particles in Beijing's urban area is higher than the national standard by about half.

More than 80,000 old cars in Beijing were revamped last year, and the renewal rate will be sped up in the next few years, said Du.

The emissions from an old car equal those of seven vehicles that meet the Euro II standards, and 14 vehicles that meet the Euro III standards.

In another development, the first batch of 28 blacklisted heavy air polluters have started reform projects to clean up their operations, said the bureau.

The bureau made public these enterprises on June 7 and ordered them to finish upgrading equipment and reducing emissions by the end of this year.

The 28 heavy polluters produce 78,000 tones of sulphur dioxide and 13,000 tones of dust and smoke every year.

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