China to accelerate approval of new coal projects to ensure energy supply
Published: Jan 05, 2023 01:38 AM
A cargo ship unloads coal at a port in Lianyungang, East China's Jiangsu Province on November 16, 2022. The port has opened a

A cargo ship unloads coal at a port in Lianyungang, East China's Jiangsu Province on November 16, 2022. The port has opened a "green channel" for thermal coal shipments ahead of rising winter demand, giving priority to vessels and their cargo to keep people in China warm and the economy stable during the cold months. Photo: cnsphoto

China reiterated its focus on energy security on Wednesday, vowing to ensure the supply of energy and electricity, coordinate resources and accelerate approval of new coal projects, while asking coal enterprises to expand production as peak season approaches.

Power generation companies should store more high-quality coal to ensure power generation during peak times, and leading groups should coordinate resources to support affiliated power plants in Southwest and Northeast China to make full use of their capacity, and help fill the gap in local power supply and heating, according to a report from the China Securities Journal on Wednesday, citing information from the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council. 

The commission has recently implemented dynamic monitoring at 195 coal mines, 572 coal power plants, 727 hydropower plants, and 96 gas-fired power plants affiliated to state-owned enterprises, and has increased policy support, the report said.

China has been deploying both domestic and overseas energy resources to ensure stable supplies for winter heating, while further optimizing the country's energy mix to enhance supply security amid a complex international energy situation.

Since the beginning of the winter heating season, the country's supply of coal for power generation has remained at a high level, with the coal inventory at a record high of around 175 million tons, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said on November 30.

According to data from the Inner Mongolia Energy Bureau, the region's coal output reached 970 million tons in the first 10 months of this year, up 13.6 percent year-on-year, of which 600 million tons were sent out of the region to meet the coal demand in 29 provincial-level regions across China.

In August, the State Council announced that measures would be taken to support electricity producers by issuing 200 billion yuan ($28.22 billion) of special-purpose bonds to help with energy supply.

In the meantime, China has been strengthening energy cooperation with countries including Russia, Mongolia and Kazakhstan.

Observers said that the overall energy supply in China is sound, with the output of coal, petroleum and natural gas on the rise, while market demand is relatively stable.

Moreover, a series of energy cooperation deals, especially a long-term deal with Qatar, will further diversify the nation's sources of energy and greatly contribute to China's energy supply security, as well as the country's goals of achieving carbon peaking and carbon neutrality, they said.