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Premier Li urges less overcapacity

Updated: Jan 7,2016 10:35 PM

Efforts will be strengthened by the central government this year to reduce overproduction and overcapacity, according to Premier Li Keqiang.

It will also close small coal mines that fall short of safety requirements, Premier Li said during his trip to Shanxi province, which began on Jan 4.

Li was speaking in Taiyuan, the provincial capital, at a meeting aimed at finding viable solutions to overcapacity in the nation’s iron, steel and coal industries. His two-day visit to Shanxi was his first trip of the year.

Governors of provinces rich in coal, iron and steel as well as heads of leading companies in the iron, coal and steel industries, attended the meeting.

The Premier said stricter measures will be taken to control newly increased capacity and set clear goals in overcapacity reduction in the next three years, while the nation needs to set limits on the maximum amount of production for the iron, coal and steel industries based on market demand.

No new projects will be assessed or approved in the coal mining industry this year, he said.

Outdated overcapacity will be further closed, especially at iron and steel companies that do not meet production safety, energy consumption and environmental protection standards.

Premier Li said that this year the government will close 13 types of outdated small coal mines, most of which are privately owned and produce coal by using low safety standards.

The Premier said more financial support from the government will be used specifically to shut down overcapacity in the coal and mining industries and to relocate workers and support them in starting their own businesses.

He stressed that stricter supervision is needed by provincial governments to resolve overproduction and there should be no favorable policies, to guard against excess production.