The central government has asked 1,000 of China's biggest energy-consuming manufacturers to come up with concrete plans to cut energy consumption equivalent to 100 million tonnes of coal. The government asked the companies to submit within six months energy usage assessments and conservation plans to provincial authorities for approval, the National Development and Reform Commission announced yesterday. The move will help Beijing achieve a target of a 20 per cent cut in energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by 2010. 'Those that fail to gain approval will have to resubmit within three months. Each company must set aside certain investments for energy conservation facilities renovation,' the commission said. The plans must include a reward and punishment system and training programmes on energy conservation. The 1,000 companies - mainly in the coal, power, petrochemicals, metal smelting and construction materials, paper and textile industries - consumed energy equivalent to 670 million tonnes of coal in 2004, equal to a third of the nation's consumption and 47 per cent of the industrial sector's, the NDRC said. Some of the companies said they had already made significant progress in energy conservation in previous years. A spokeswoman at the Aluminium Corporation of China, whose power costs account for around 35 per cent of its operating costs, said its energy consumption had been falling each year, although she did not give figures. According to Maanshan Iron and Steel's annual report, the company's energy consumption per tonne of steel produced fell 25.8 per cent to 731kg last year from 986kg in 2000.