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Beijing Names Polluting Firms

Beijing allots 42b yuan for green projects, names polluting firms

Eric Ng – SCMP – Updated on Sep 06, 2008

Beijing has earmarked 41.8 billion yuan (HK$47.8 billion) to fund energy conservation and pollution reduction projects, stepping up a drive to boost its environmental credentials.

Officials also named and shamed 74 companies that had failed to meet energy conservation targets handed down to nearly 1,000 firms in 2006.

Beijing also reiterated its long-term goal of raising domestic energy prices to international levels and using tax incentives to meet its goal of cutting energy consumption per unit of GDP by 20 per cent in the five years to 2010.

“To realise our energy conservation and pollution reduction targets, the State Council and related departments have recently come up with a string of measures to strengthen the initiatives’ implementation,” the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said.

Beijing has set aside 14.8 billion yuan from government bond issuance and revenue as well as 27 billion yuan of special-purpose funds to spur the adoption of energy conservation and green practices.

The goal is to add this year, annual energy savings equivalent to 35 million tonnes of coal consumption. The country consumed 2.7 billion tonnes of coal last year. It has already closed scores of small and inefficient power, cement, steel and aluminium plants in the past few years.

Of 953 firms being appraised, 879 or 92.2 per cent have met or exceeded the annual targets set for last year while 74 or 7.8 per cent have not. The other 45 were not assessed.

Most of those failing to meet targets are in the power, steel, non-ferrous metals and chemicals sectors.

They include Datang International Power Generation’s Zhang Jiakou power plant in Hebei, China Petroleum & Chemical’s Baling unit in Hunan, Shenhua Group’s coal unit in Ningxia Hui autonomous region and Yanchang Oil (Group) in Shaanxi.

Together the 953 firms saved energy equivalent to 38.17 million tonnes of coal last year, during which they invested some 50 billion yuan into energy conservation technology and infrastructure upgrades.

The State Council has required that energy conservation accomplishment become a key part of state-owned enterprises bosses’ annual performance assessment.

“For those [firms] that failed to meet targets, they must come up with a rectification proposal with a time-line within a month,” the NDRC said, adding they would be barred from enjoying government support and their new energy-intensive investment projects and industrial land-use applications would not be approved.

The NDRC said it would “actively and carefully” implement reform of energy prices so they would be determined by market forces and reflective of resource scarcity.

Also on the cards are the reform of resources tax and imposition of pollution and fuel consumption taxes.

Firms with energy saving and pollution-cutting projects will be eligible for profit and value-added tax cuts.

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