From: Reuters
Published December 4, 2007 07:20 AM

China fires up biomass plants

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has fired up eight biomass plants in leading grain-producing provinces in hopes of cutting carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation, state media reported on Tuesday.

The plants have a total installed capacity of 200 megawatts and are expected to burn 1.6 million tons of stalks a year.

"Compared with coal-fired power plants, these biomass projects are expected to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 800,000 tons annually," Xinhua news agency quoted Cui Mengshan, of the National Bio Energy Co., as saying.

The company is a subsidiary of China's State Grid Corp., the country's top grid operator.

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Coal-dependent China is set to surpass the United States as the world's largest emitter of heat-trapping carbon dioxide, bringing it under scrutiny as countries gather in Bali to begin negotiating a pact to fight global warming to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.

While it wants to eliminate the burning of biofuels in homes because of health impacts of burning wood or grain stalks in confined quarters, Beijing has been trying to step up their industrial use.

State Grid Corp. launched the country's first biomass plant last December in the eastern grain-producing province of Shandong, the report said.

(Reporting by Lindsay Beck; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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