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Lid to be put on coal output

By Du Juan (China Daily)

08:32, March 23, 2012

A coal storage base in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province. Wu Yin, deputy director of the National Energy Administration, said on Thursday that China's coal industry will reach a production capacity of 4.1 billion tons by the end of 2015, but total output will be kept within 3.9 billion tons. (Hu Guolin / Photo from China Daily)

China's coal production will stay below 3.9 billion metric tons by the end of 2015 if it can keep its annual economic growth rate at 7 percent on average through that year.

At the same time, the government plans to encourage companies to explore resources abroad to ensure the country has a sound energy supply during the 12th Five-Year-Plan period (2011-15), senior officials said on Thursday.

China's coal industry is expected to be capable of producing 4.1 billion tons of coal by the end of 2015. Plans, though, call for keeping the output within 3.9 billion tons to control energy use and reduce carbon emissions, said Wu Yin, deputy director of the National Energy Administration.

He said China will form 10 large coal companies that are capable of producing 100 million tons of coal a year and another 10 companies that are capable of producing 50 million tons a year. These 20 companies will be responsible for 60 percent of the country's output of coal.

"China will continue to promote mergers and acquisitions in the coal industry," Wu said. "We will work to develop large coal companies and shut down small coal mines to eliminate outdated operations.

"In fact, the growth in the demand for coal is beginning to slow down," said Dai Bing, senior analyst at, a coal-trading website. "Some industries, such as the steel and cement industries, are shrinking, which will lead to a slower growth rate for coal demand."

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