BEIJING -- Beijing will achieve natural gas-fired heating in its six downtown districts this winter as part of its anti-smog efforts.
The third and final phase of Beijing's southeast thermoelectric center in Chaoyang district has begun a one week trial. The gas-fired power plant will be officially put into use prior to the start of the heating period this winter, according to a joint statement issued by the Beijing Municipal Development and Reform Commission and the Urban Management Commission on Monday.
The beginning of full operations at the center will mark the completion of Beijing's four major gas-fired thermoelectric centers, which will cut the city's coal consumption by a total of 9.2 million tonnes annually.
The six downtown districts of Beijing, namely Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan, will all achieve gas-fired heating this winter.
To address air pollution, Beijing has closed its four major coal-fired power plants and replaced them with four gas-fired plants located in the capital's southwest, northwest, southeast and northeast.
The four gas-fired plants cost nearly 50 billion yuan ($7.55 billion).