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Coal Industry Told to Speed Up Energy Saving

The government yesterday urged the coal industry, the biggest in the world, to speed up energy-saving and emission-control measures.

According to a notice from the National Development and Reform Commission, the top industry watchdog, by 2010, coal firms should have cut their energy consumption per ton by 20 percent from 2005 levels.

They should increase the use of solid waste, coal mine water and coal bed methane, the NDRC said, and those who do will be rewarded with favorable policies.

By 2010, solid waste such as coal gangue and flurry, should be used in 70 percent of electricity production, the NDRC said, up from 43 percent in 2005.

Coal companies who produce electricity with coal gangue and flurry, as well as kerogen, will enjoy preferential access to the power grids, it said.

The notice also said that 60 percent of coal bed methane should be utilized in 2010.

Coal producers must get rid of outmoded equipment, while small-scale mines, washeries and coke plants must save energy and control their emissions.

New coal washeries must have an annual capacity of at least 300,000 tons a year, according to the notice, and their energy consumption must not exceed 8 kWh per ton.

The producers have also been told to boost investment in new equipment and form alliances with universities and research institutions to develop key technologies for energy saving and emission control.

Coal production in China climbed 7.1 percent year on year to 1.1 billion tons in the first half of this year, accounting for one-third of the world's total, according to industry data.

In the same period, almost 9,000 small and unsafe coal mines were shut down across the country.

The China National Coal Association predicted in March that full-year production would reach 2.48 billion tons, up 6.5 percent on 2006.

According to a government plan revealed in January, coal production in the country will hit 2.6 billion tons in 2010.

(China Daily July 6, 2007)

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