Chinese officials move to increase coal output amid shortage
Published: Oct 13, 2021 07:45 PM
Photo taken on Dec. 22, 2020 shows a thermal coal yard of Huanghua Port in Cangzhou City, north China's Hebei Province. Huanghua Port, one of the key ports for thermal coal transportation in China, has stepped up its turnover rate since this December. A daily average of 500,000 tonnes of thermal coal is loaded to ships at the port now to quench the thirst for coal-fired power generation in southern parts of the country. (Xinhua/Wang Min)

Photo taken on Dec. 22, 2020 shows a thermal coal yard of Huanghua Port in Cangzhou City, north China's Hebei Province. Photo: Xinhua

China is doing its best to increase coal output and supply amid shortages in some areas across the country, and has speeded up reviews of already-built outdoor coal mines, the nation's top economic planner said on Wednesday. 

Also on Wednesday, in order to ease the coal supply crunch and surging coal prices, Chinese officials said they have cleared more than 150 coal mines for production after safety reviews, which will add as much as 55 million tons of coal to the supply side.

Zhao Chenxin, an official at the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), told a press conference on Wednesday that local governments are barred from shutting down coal mines without authorization. 

In addition, Zhao vowed that coal and gas supply for people's daily use will be guaranteed and the country is capable of securing energy supply with stability. Residential electricity use accounts for about 15 percent of the total power consumption in China.

Concrete measures have also been taken to increase coal output, according to Sun Qingguo, official at the National Mine Safety Administration.

"We have reviewed 976 coal mines, and examined their conditions of production safety. Among them, 153 coal mines met the standard, which would increase coal output by 220 million tons each year. It is expected that the fourth quarter's coal output would increase by 55 million tons," Sun said at the press conference. 

Still, officials vowed that China will continue to meet its environmental protection targets.

"China will meet carbon peak and carbon neutrality goals on time, while securing domestic energy supply," Zhao said, adding that China's coal-fired power generation units are world-leading. 

Coal consumption per kilowatt of domestic units is 30 kilograms less than in the US, he noted. 

China is also promoting wind and solar power and will speed up construction for energy emergency use. 

Global Times