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Monday, January 31, 2000, updated at 09:08(GMT+8)
China South China Province Plans Clean Energy Project

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) and natural gas from offshore China will become a major energy feedstock in southern province of Guangdong in order to meet the growing demand for energy and to ease pollution.

The Central Government of China has just approved a long-expected LNG project of Guangdong which allows the province to heavily, but not completely, rely on imported LNG, according to today's China Daily Business Weekly.

"The project is expected to play a key role in fueling Guangdong's economy," Wei Liucheng, president of China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), was quoted as saying.

The CNOOC, the Guangdong provincial government, and some to-be-selected foreign partners are expected to jointly develop the giant project.

"It is also expected to be as a profitable business venture," said Wei.

Many global oil giants such as BP, Shell, and Mobile are preparing to bid on the project. Some LNG providers, including Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia, have shown a strong interest inthe program.

The project is considered essential because rapid economic growth has resulted in an energy supply gap and serious environmental protection problems for Guangdong Province, said YaoXinhuan, deputy director of the Guangdong LNG Project Leading Group Office.

Guangdong's energy consumption will reach 110 million tons of coal equivalents by the year 2005 and 150 million tons by 2010. The province is expected to gradually skew its reliance on small coal-fueled power plants to gas-fueled stations for the sake of environmental protection.

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