China plans radical coal industry overhaul

An ambitious five-year plan could radically restructure China's coal industry.

Staff Reporter

A centralised coal industry, the mechanisation of at least 90% of big mines, the greater use of technology and elimination of uneconomic coal mines are some of the Chinese government's five-year plans.

Asia Pulse said on October 25 that China's coal industry planned to make important changes between 2001-2005.

To eliminate "backward productivity" and cut the number of coal mines, the industry would adopt a close-down policy to adjust the structure and location of coal production.

The use of clean coal technology will be encouraged. By the end of 2005, China hopes to have a coal-dressing rate of over 60%; output of washed coke and coal 70 million tons; coal-seam gas, between 3-4 billion tons; liquid coal, 10 million tons; and oil generated by coal liquefaction, 2 million tons.

By 2005 China plans to set up a number of large companies and groups to centralise the industry. In addition, China has set a goal of achieving mechanisation in at least 90% of large coal mines and 60% of medium-sized mines. China hopes to build 140 modern coal mines and expects the contribution to coal industry growth by science and technology to reach 40%.

Finally, China plans to strengthen enterprise management, change the way of economic growth and make up for deficits, and increase profits.

In other news, a recent survey shows China's coal industry used $US1.042 billion in foreign capital during 1996-98. This included $US766 million in energy loans from Japan, $US9 million in government loans from Austria and Sweden, and US$267 million in other overseas financing.

Advanced coal mining, dressing and tunnelling technologies, valued at $US310 million, have been imported. China exported 130.62 million tons of coal during the 1996-99 period, and expects to export 45 million tons this year.

For the first nine months of 2000, China exported 44.62 million tons of coal, up 64% on the previous period in 1999. China imported 1.68 million tons for the nine months, up 14%.