SHIJIAZHUANG, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- North China's Hebei Province plans to eliminate 9,027 small coal-fired boilers by 2020 to help its fight against air pollution.
Local authorities plan to dismantle 521 of the boilers, each with a steam generating capacity of no more than 35 tonnes per hour, and switch the rest to clean energy.
The action will help reduce coal consumption by 4.78 million tonnes per year, said the provincial environmental protection bureau Wednesday.
The province plans to reduce its coal consumption in 2020 to 90 percent of the 2015 level.
Between 2018 and 2020, authorities also plan to improve pollutant treatment facilities at 123 highly-polluting steel and coking companies to slash the emissions of major pollutants by around 80 percent.
Hebei, Beijing's neighbor and home to several of the country's top 10 polluted cities, has set a target to reduce the average concentration of PM2.5 to 55 micrograms per cubic meter in 2020, 15 percent less than in 2017.
PM2.5, airborne particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, pose a significant risk to health.
The regions around Beijing are home to major steelmakers, coal mines, aluminum producers and chemical plants. They are at the forefront of the country's fight against air pollution.