China regulates coal-chemical industry
Updated: 2006-07-16 09:32
BEIJING, July 15 -- The Chinese government has just issued a circular on
regulating the coal-chemical industry, urging local governments to tighten
control of new projects.
The government will not approve coal Liquefaction projects with an annual
production capacity under three million tons, methanol or dimethyl ether
projects under one million tons and coal-to-alkene projects under 600,000 tons,
said a circular released by the National Development and Reform Commission
(NDRC) on Friday.
Experts said the move aims to contain possible overheating in the
According to the NDRC, constantly rising oil prices on the world market have
prompted the development of the coal-chemical industry in trying to find
alternatives for petroleum in China.
China's methanol production capacity reached 5.36 million tons by the end of
2005. According to incomplete statistics, current methanol production capacity
under construction is nearly nine million tons, with over 10 million tons under
As the market has not been fully developed, when all the projects go into
production, a surplus capacity is inevitable, said NDRC.
According to the NDRC, as the technology is still in experimental phase, coal
liquefaction projects should not be approved until a national development
program for the industry is completed.
Coal-chemical projects must meet environmental requirements and those that
fail to meet the safety requirements in transportation should not be allowed,
said the NDRC.
In the five-year period from 2006 to 2010, China will encourage the
development of coal-based chemical fertilizer. The industries of coal
liquefaction and coal-made alternatives for petroleum should be developed
steadily while the traditional coal-chemical industries that have seen
overproduction such as calcium carbide and coke should be kept under control.