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Small Coal Plants to Shut, But Jobs Safe

Shanghai will close 29 coal-fired power plants each with a generating capacity below 100,000 kilowatts by 2010.


However, none of the 7,000 workers at the plants is to be made unemployed, according to agreements between the municipal government and the plant operators.


The move will reduce emissions and the municipality will construct more energy-efficient plants to replace the old generators, said Vice Mayor Feng Guoqin at a press conference on Thursday. "These small coal-fired power plants, totaling 2.11 million kilowatts in installed capacity, are big energy guzzlers and serious polluters," said Feng.


"The coal consumption by small plants is 15 percent higher than the average, and their annual emissions of sulfur dioxide exceed 80,000 tons."


"We'll construct new and larger environment-friendly plants, with a combined capacity of three million kilowatts, in areas such as Caojing and Chongming."


The new plants will save Shanghai about 1.1 million tons of coal a year.


The Municipal Development and Reform Commission and the Municipal Economic Commission signed letters of responsibility with the operators of the small plants.


Some of the workers will be relocated to the new stations, and others will be offered jobs elsewhere, said Feng.


(Xinhua News Agency April 14, 2007)

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