China halts 12 environmentally harmful projects

13 February 2007 10:39  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--China’s environment watchdog has stopped 12 projects which could damage the environment if they were built, a senior official said on Tuesday.

The projects include steel, coking units and a vanillin plant at Changbaishan Specialty Chemicals, Pan Yue, deputy minister at the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) said in a statement.

Operators of the remaining 70 projects, including Jinchengtai Chemical’s methanol project and Luzhou Biotechnology’s amino acid project uncovered in January’s checks, were carrying out adjustments, he added.

The SEPA has also lifted a ban on project approvals in Laiwu city as the local government was quick to implement changes and carry out strict checks.

Pan said the agency has stopped small power units and unapproved projects. Many power plant operators were also upgrading existing units to meet sulphur dioxide emission standards, he added.

The agency has targetted to reduce emissions by 2% this year after admitting late on Monday that it failed to meet targets last year. Its overall aim in the 11th five-year period (2006-2010) is to cut emissions by 10%.

SEPA’s minister Zhou Shengxian said China’s gross domestic product (GDP) exceeded the agency’s 7.5% forecast, causing more emissions than expected. Its economy growth model also wasted resources and it failed to shut inefficient units, he added.

He admitted that the country did not invest enough in environment protection facilities as 47% of the projects to curb pollution in the 10th five-year period were not carried out.

The agency aimed to improve emissions indicators and will announce emissions for each province and the whole country twice a year, Zhou said.

In 2008, it will also ban provinces, which failed to meet emission cuts in 2007, from approving projects, he added.

The SEPA will also speed up projects to clean up major rivers and lakes, scrap inefficient technologies and ensure more desulphurisation units were built at steel and power plants, he said.

By: Florence Tan
+65 6780 4359

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