Taiyuan city in North China's Shanxi province will bid farewell to burning coal this winter as the city has been imposing a step-by-step ban on burning coal since 2012.
From 2012 to 2016, Taiyuan municipal government invested over 24 billion yuan ($3.67 billion) to cut coal burning through measures such as promoting central heating and clean energy, as well as renovating urban villages.
Over the past five years, Taiyuan city has dismantled 2,470 coal-fired boilers, 45,000 chimneys in urban villages, and cut winter coal burning by 4.65 million tonnes.
"During the same period last year, we were selling coal, but now, the government is buying coal from us," said Wang Jian, the top official in Nanxiawen village, which is the first village in Taiyuan to switch from coal to gas.
Over 100 tonnes of coals have been cleared from Nanxiawen village, and it is estimated that all clearing work will be completed by late September this year. The number of villages in Taiyuan city that are undergoing a similar process is more than 320.
To avoid any extra burden on residents, Taiyuan municipal government will offer subsidies of 1.67 billion yuan ($255.67 million) to support the switchover from coal to gas.
From October 1, no organization or individual, except the thermal power plants, are allowed to sell, transport or burn coal, according to the local authority.
(Writing by Tammy Yang Editing by Jessie Jia)
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