July 1, 2020 / 6:12 AM / 2 days ago

China to cut or suspend subsidy for substandard waste-to-energy power plants

FILE PHOTO: Birds fly over a closed steel factory where chimneys of another working factory are seen in background, in Tangshan, Hebei province, China, February 27, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will cut or suspend subsidy for waste-to-energy (WTE) power plants that violate emission standards, as part of its anti-pollution campaign, the country’s finance and environment ministries said late on Tuesday.

The move, effective July 1, aims at improving environmental levels at WTE power plants and mitigating public discontent with stench and the risk of toxic emissions, such as dioxin.

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) had rolled out a new regulation last year, forcing waste incinerators to reveal real-time emission and temperature data to the public as well as to upload it to the environmental bureau monitoring system.

The government will cut or even suspend the subsidy for the WTE power generators that are found not revealing emission data or forging the data or not reaching the standards, according to the joint statement on Tuesday.

China has vowed to build waste incineration handling capacity of 591,400 tonnes per day by 2020.

At end 2019, China had installed WTE power generation capacity of 12.02 gigawatts (GW) and daily incineration capacity of 490,000 tonnes.

According to China’s Biomass Energy Association, the country is expected to add 2.9 GW WTE power generation capacity in 2020, requiring a subsidy of about 11.1 billion yuan ($1.57 billion).

However, Beijing has been striving to curtail financial supports to renewable power sources in order to ease a backlog of subsidy payment exceeding 223 billion yuan, which may shadow the development of WTE projects in the pipeline.

Reporting by Muyu Xu and David Stanway; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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