About 10 per cent of Beijing's petrol stations will be shut down over the next few months as part of the city's efforts to improve air quality ahead of the Olympics, state press said on Friday.
Out of the 1,442 petrol stations in Beijing, 144 will close by the end of May because they will not be able meet higher environmental standards, Xinhua news agency reported, citing local officials.
All the others will be upgraded to cut the amount of fumes that leak when the fuel is pumped into cars, with each renovation costing 500,000 to 600,000 yuan ($69,600 to $83,500; Dh254,040 to Dh304,775), according to the report.
The upgrades involve installing new nozzles at the gas pumps to collect fumes that would otherwise leak, with those vapours returned to the storage tanks for re-use.
The petrol station clean-up is part of a huge campaign to improve the environment in Beijing, one of the world's most polluted capital cities, ahead of the Olympics in August.
The poor environment has been one of the biggest concerns for organisers, with International Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge warning last year that some events could be postponed if the air pollution was too severe.
Chinese authorities have also begun closing down factories, while many cars will be ordered to stay off the roads during the Games. (AFP)
Beijing to close petrol stations in Olympic clean-up