(Yicai Global) Dec. 11 -- The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has approved a USD250-million loan to construct a natural gas supply network in Beijing, it said this morning.
The investment is AIIB's first in China, state-owned news agency Xinhua reported. The pipeline will cover about 510 villages and 216,750 households and be in full effect by 2021, cutting the use of standard coal in the capital by 650,000 tons and reducing annual emissions of carbon dioxide (595,700 tons), particulate matter (3,700 tons), sulfur dioxide (1,488 tons), nitric oxide (4,442 tons).
Set up in 2015, the AIIB is the first China-proposed multilateral financial institution. It provides funds to governments across the continent to support infrastructure construction.
Many areas in rural northern China have begun to replace coal with gas under new policies to address pollution. In order to cut back on smog, many local governments are accelerating coal's replacement to reduce emissions of harmful substances.
To make the transformation, major equipment changes are needed. Media outlets earlier reported that some households in the northern provinces of Hebei, Shanxi and Shaanxi had no access to heating due to a lack of natural gas supplies and delayed construction of pipelines.