Monday, November 29, 1999

China mulls crackdown on big energy consumers

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China will consider forcing energy-guzzling companies to reduce their output or close down completely in order to meet tough energy saving targets for this year, a senior official said on Wednesday.It would also look into capping energy supplies to some of China's biggest regional and industrial consumers, said Xie Zhenhua, vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission and the country's top climate change official."In regions struggling to meet targets, we need to implement measures such as stopping or restricting output from high energy consuming enterprises," Xie said in remarks published by the official People's Daily.After falling 14.38 percent from 2005 to 2009, energy intensity actually grew 3.2 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2009.China's cabinet, the State Council, warned that last year's massive economic stimulus package had led to a surge in heavy industrial sectors like steel and construction and could compromise the country's clean energy initiatives.Xie pointed the finger at provinces and regions like Sichuan and Guangxi in the southwest, where energy consumption growth remains too high, and at Ningxia, Qinghai and Xinjiang in the northwest, which were struggling to meet their own energy intensity targets.He said special inspection teams would be dispatched starting in July to look at issues like power prices. The NDRC has already ordered provinces to abolish favourable tariffs traditionally offered to big energy-consuming companies.Xie said late last month that China would make sure its energy saving and emission reduction targets would be met before global climate change talks get underway in the Mexican resort of Cancun at the end of this year.(Reporting by David Stanway, Editing by Chris Lewis)

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