China’s LNG Trucks May Rise Fivefold by 2015, Bernstein Says

China’s LNG-fueled heavy-duty trucks may increase fivefold in less than two years as the country fights air pollution, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. said.

Liquefied natural gas may power 247,000 vehicles by 2015, up from 51,000 last year, reducing China’s dependence on oil imports, Neil Beveridge, a Hong Kong-based analyst at the company, said in an e-mailed report today. The county has 5 million heavy-duty trucks, Bernstein said.

“The National People’s Congress, where top legislators meet once a year, coincides with some of Beijing’s most polluted days,” Beveridge said. “With the new government taking shape, we expect China to accelerate the pace of taking measures to reduce pollution.”

There may be 694,000 LNG-fueled trucks by 2020, or 6 percent out of a total fleet of 11.5 million, according to Bernstein.

Air quality readings by the U.S. Embassy in China reached 993 Jan. 12 in Beijing for PM 2.5, according to Bernstein. That refers to airborne pollutants smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, which are able to penetrate deep into lungs and even the blood stream, raising risks of heart and lung diseases.

Peak readings from the U.S. Embassy exceeded the World Health Organization’s recommendation every day in January for daily exposure of no higher than 25. Exposure to PM2.5 contributed to 8,572 premature deaths in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xi’an in 2012, according to estimates by Greenpeace and Peking University’s School of Public Health.

PetroChina Spend

China’s state-owned oil majors, PetroChina and Sinopec, may spend 52 billion yuan ($8.4 billion) in the next five years to cut the sulfur content in its gasoline and diesel to meet new emissions standards, Bernstein said.

Under the so-called China IV standards, which the country will adopt by 2014, the sulfur content should be 50 parts per million per liter for gasoline and diesel, according to the report. China will adopt the so-called China V standards in 2017, which will cut the sulfur content to less than 10 parts per million per liter of fuel, Bernstein said.

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