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Coal production in China reach historic highs last year

By Liu Yukun | | Updated: 2024-03-29 15:56
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Coal production and import volumes in China reached historic highs last year, driven by several factors, such as economic recovery and the rapid development of high-energy-consuming tech industries like computing power, said a trade body on Thursday.

The national raw coal production in 2023 reached 4.71 billion metric tons, representing a year-on-year increase of 3.4 percent. Coal imports soared to 474 million tons, a 61.8 percent increase compared to the previous year. Coal exports also saw a rise, reaching 4.47 million tons, an 11.7 percent increase year-on-year.

Zhang Hong, spokesperson for the China National Coal Association, attributed the growth primarily to the surge in energy demand driven by economic recovery, as well as the rapid development of energy-consuming big data and computing power industries.

Zhang said that in the previous year, there was a notable acceleration in the optimization of the coal industry structure. By the year-end, the number of coal mines nationwide had reduced to around 4,300, with large-scale coal mines producing over 1.2 million tons annually accounting for over 85 percent of the national total, a 5 percentage point increase from 2020.

He said the orderly promotion of clean and efficient utilization of coal has seen significant progress.

Data from the association showed that over 1.03 billion kilowatts of coal-fired power plants have undergone ultra-low emission transformations, leading to a 0.2 percent decrease in coal consumption per kilowatt-hour of thermal power generation.

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