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China steps up overcapacity cuts in coal sector

Updated: Oct 26,2017 10:51 AM     CGTN

China cut coal producing outlets by more than a third in the last five years, new data shows.

Some 2,802 enterprises were eliminated as structural reforms in the coal mining sector accelerated nationwide, according to the data from the China National Coal Association (CNCA).

The number of large producers went from 7,869 in 2012 to 5,067 by the end of last year, a 35.6 percent drop.

Around 1,000 coal mines will be closed this year in 12 provincial-level regions, including Shanxi province and Inner Mongolia autonomous region, two of China’s leading coal-producing areas.

In the first seven months of this year, about 128 million tonnes of backward coal production capacity were forced out of the market, reaching 85 percent of the annual target, the data reveals.

To cope with environmental pressure and achieve sustainable growth, China has been pushing industrial upgrades and improvements to the structure of energy consumption.

By the end of 2016, coal consumption in total energy had decreased by about 6.5 percent compared to 2012, while the share of clean energy increased by 5.2 percent, according to the National Energy Administration.

The coal sector saw improving profitability amid the country’s efforts to cut excess capacity and improve efficiency.

The country’s large coal companies registered total profits in the first half of the year of 147.48 billion yuan (about $22.2 billion), 140.31 billion yuan more than the same period last year, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.