25 September 2018
China aims to take 3 million old cars off the road this year. Photo: Bloomberg
China aims to take 3 million old cars off the road this year. Photo: Bloomberg

The Big Picture: THE ACID TEST

China is putting the choke on acid rain. It’s ramping up the pressure on the power, steel, cement, sewage and livestock industries to install more equipment to cut atmospheric levels of nitrogen oxide, according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

The goal this year is to reduce emissions of the compound by 5 percent from last year while cutting sulphur dioxide, ammonia nitrogen and chemical oxygen demand by 2 percent, Zhai Qing {翟青}, vice minister of environmental protection, said in Beijing Tuesday.

Zhai said the rate of cuts in nitrogen oxide emissions lags that of the other three pollutants so it’s essential to press on with installation of more denitrification equipment over the next two years, in hopes of reducing levels by 10 percent between 2011 and 2015.

China also aims to trim output of ammonia nitrogen by 10 percent and slash sulphur dioxide and chemical oxygen demand by 8 percent in the same period.

To achieve the targets, the country will expand its sewage treatment capacity by 10 million metric tons and add 15,000 square meters of steel sintering equipment this year, he said. It will also take 3 million ageing cars off the roads in 2014, compared with 1.9 million last year.

Observers said equipment suppliers such as Beijing SPC Environment Protection Tech Co. Ltd. (002573.CH) and CPI Yuanda Environmental Protection (Group) Co. Ltd. (600292.CH) will benefit from the policy trend, with up to 100 billion yuan (US$16.49 billion) plowed into these providers.

Tianjin FTZ likely to get approval in first half, paper says

Tianjin is likely to get approval to set up its free trade zone in the first half of the year, covering the entire Binhai New Area and additional ports rather than just Dongjiang Port as originally planned, the China Securities Journal reported Wednesday, citing unidentified sources. The zone is also expected to be granted more financial and administrative privileges. At present, construction is going on in the Binhai New Area with estimated fixed asset investment of at least 570 billion yuan (US$94.05 billion) this year, the report said.

China-Iceland FTA to take effect in second half, website says

The free trade agreement between China and Iceland is expected to come into effect in the second half after the two sides complete the formal procedures, the Chinese government portal reported Tuesday, citing sources from the Ministry of Commerce. The FTA negotiations started in December 2006 and the agreement was signed in April 2013. Under the terms of the pact, no tariffs will be applied to nearly 96 percent of goods in terms of tariff number, or nearly 100 percent in terms of trade volume between the two nations, the report said.

– Contact HKEJ at [email protected]



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