ADB approves 499 mln USD loan to improve Beijing air quality

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-15 17:30:57|Editor: ZD
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BEIJING, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan for 499 million U.S. dollars to set up a regional emission-reduction and pollution-control facility as part of a support program to improve the air quality in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

The facility will showcase how advanced technologies, including hydrogen-based low-emission transport and geothermal-based district heating, can be adopted on a large scale by major emitting industries and enterprises, according to the ADB.

It is the third ADB loan aimed at improving air quality in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area, following a loan of 300 million dollars in 2015 and 499.6 million dollars in 2016.

The facility will be managed and administered by the China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group, China's largest state-owned enterprise focusing on energy conservation and environmental protection.

Due to the ADB assistance, the project is expected to attract nearly 1.53 billion U.S. dollars, almost three times the original loan amount, in co-financing from the public and private sector.

By 2023, the project will train at least 200 people in the use of advanced technologies, the selection of business models for sub-projects and investment decisions in certain industries, according to the bank.

"We remain committed to helping the Chinese government improve air quality and reduce pollution in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, where a third of the country's economic growth comes from," said Lin Lu, senior energy specialist at the ADB's East Asia Department.

Despite government effort to fight pollution, frequent outbreaks of smog have become increasingly common in winter in northern China where cold weather conditions and the burning of coal combine to exacerbate the situation.

To improve air quality in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area, China has replaced dirtier coal use and penalized polluters in an effort to lower the intensity of smog.