CHINA / index

Coal output to reach record high of 2.5b tons
by China Daily
Updated: 2006-03-18 07:01

China's energy consumption record was an average 1.43 tons of SCE for every 10,000 yuan (US$1,234) of GDP in 2005. This is the same as 2004, despite the central government's pledge to significantly reduce energy waste from 2006 to 2010.

Guo said the coal plan was not only "a blueprint for producing more, but also a programme for resource conservation and work safety."

Large accidents

Guo said the industry's authorities will try hard to prevent large accidents particularly ones killing 100 miners or more. "That will be a major task for the industry," he said.

In stark contrast with planned goals, 2005 was a tragic year as there were four major accidents. Since 1949, there have been a total of just 22 similar-sized accidents in China.

He said the country will streamline its small-scale coal mines and speed up construction of 13 national-level production bases, each capable of turning out over 100 million tons of coal annually. These will be in coal-rich regions such as Shanxi, Shaanxi, and Inner Mongolia.

Zhao Tiechui, head of the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety Supervision, recently said that China would shut down 4,000 small coal mines annually over the next three years. "We can keep at most 10,000 or so small coal mines," said Zhao, who also promised to drastically reduce major accidents within two years.

China now has 24,000 small coal mines with an annual production capacity ranging from 10,000 tons to 30,000 tons. They account for 70 per cent of the total number of coal mines.

Small coal mines have not only led to serious resource waste and pollution, but also threatened work safety, said Guo. "Closing them down won't affect the country's overall output," he pledged.

He said the 13 large production bases were enough to help China meet its growing demand.

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