China Releases 2017-2021 Winter Clean Heating Plan

By Mei Manuel, December 18, 2017 04:12 AM


On Sunday, the Chinese government released its five-year plan to convert the heating systems in Northern China to clean heating for winter to 2021 despite the current deepening heating crisis in the country.

The government has launched a nationwide campaign to switch the current heating systems in millions of households and thousands of businesses from coal to natural gas early this year in preparation for winter. It was also meant to assist in stopping the severity of air pollution in the country after years of continuous economic growth. However, the project failed as natural gas shortages were reported throughout the region and businesses and residents were left without heating systems.

The new plan was announced by 10 government agencies, which includes the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the National Energy Administration as reported by Securities Times online, who quoted China Energy News for the report.

The report also cited that the government has already made "concrete arrangements" regarding biomass heating, geothermal heating, solar heating, electric heating and other alternative heating systems that can be used by the region.

At least half of Northern China would be converted to clean heating by 2019, which would reduce coal burning in the country by 74 million tonnes. Further details regarding how this can be achieved have not been released.

Several attempts have also been done to alleviate natural gas shortage in the region. On Saturday, state media reported that Petrochina has been diverting at least 7 million cubic meters of natural gas from Guangdong in the South to northern China.

Other oil and gas companies such as CNOOC had also started supplying the region with 3 to 5 million cubic meters of natural gas to its Zhuhai city to guarantee continuous supply in Guangdong as part of the gas swap organized by the NDRC. 

State media also reported that gas shortages have been reported in Changsha city in Hunan province. Furthermore, households who have already purchased 1,500 cubic meters or more this year can only purchase 15 cubic meters per day starting December 15. Should the gas shortage continue, Changsha's gas shortage may exceed up to 60 million cubic meters for this winter season.

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