About 150 trucks powered by natural gas are planned to run the expressway between the eastern coastal city of Qingdao and the Chinese capital of Beijing by 2008, as part of the government's package to run a environment-friendly Olympics.

An an open port in eastern Shandong Province, Qingdao is 700 km south of Beijing and is expected to host the sailing events of the 2008 Games. Source with Qingdao Municipal Technology Bureau said Wednesday that government officials, pollution-free vehicle experts, and representatives from truck firms have ended a feasibility study of natural-gas-based transport between the two cities.

"The pollution of truck exhaust on the expressway is horrible,"said Ji Hechun, a technician with the bureau. "However, by using natural gas, we can cut down the pollution by 90 percent."

But Ji said the natural-gas-driven vehicles are still a new thing on China's heavily polluted expressway. According to Ji, 20 natural-gas-empowered trucks are expected to be used on the expressway from Qingdao to the provincial capital of Jinan next year as a first step. The natural-gas-based transport network will eventually be extended to the entire northeastern China in years after 2008.

A network of natural gas filling stations will be built along the Beijing-Qingdao expressway, traversing major cities like Jinan, Weifang in Shandong Province, and the northern industrial city of Tianjin. The market price of natural gas is less than half that of the petroleum. China promised a Green Olympics as its capital Beijing was chosen as the venue to hold the 2008 Games. The government vowed to clean up the national capital before the Olympics. Some 5,000 cars, 1,100 mini-buses and 2,000 other buses running among Olympic venues are expected to be powered wholly by electric power without any pollutions.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.