Xinhua. China will have some 150 trucks powered by natural gas plying the expressway between the eastern coastal city of Qingdao and the Chinese capital of Beijing by 2008, as part of the government’s efforts to clean up for an environment-friendly Olympics.
Qingdao is 700 km south of Beijing and is expected to host the sailing events of the 2008 Games.
Ji Hechun of the Qingdao Municipal Technology Bureau said Wednesday that government officials, pollution-free vehicle experts, and representatives from truck firms have ended a feasibility study of natural-gas-based transport between the two cities.
The pollution of truck exhaust on the expressway is horrible. However, by using natural gas, we can cut down the pollution by 90 percent.
According to Ji, 20 CNG trucks will be in service on the expressway from Qingdao to the provincial capital of Jinan next year as a first step. The natural-gas-based transport network will eventually be extended to the entire northeastern China in years after 2008.
China is rapidly building its natural gas pipeline and refueling infrastructure in the Beijing area. (Earlier post.) The city has committed to converting a major percentage of its buses and taxis to CNG and Hydrogen-CNG (HCNG) blends in time for the Olympics.
A network of natural gas filling stations will also be built along the Beijing-Qingdao expressway, traversing major cities like Jinan, Weifang in Shandong Province, and the northern industrial city of Tianjin.
Just a few days ago, India’s state-owned gas firm GAIL India announced that it is seeking a direct equity stake in two Chinese firms—Beijing Gas Co and Beijing Jianggang Gas—that are implementing a project to supply CNG to Beijing by 2008, before the start of the Olympics.
Beijing Jianggang Gas is a joint venture formed by China Gas Holdings Ltd and Beijing Gas Co for the supply of natural gas in the six suburb districts of Beijing.
GAIL holds a 10% stake in China Gas Holdings, which has a 40% stake in Beijing Jianggag Gas Co.
GAIL has also been offered three cities in mainland China—Wuhu city in Anhui province, and Huainan and Yichang cities in Hubei province— for a joint venture CNG projects with China Gas Holding.
In addition to the major push on CNG and HCNG, Beijing is targeting some 5,000 electric cars, 1,100 electric mini-buses and 2,000 electric coaches running between Olympic venues.