The Chinese National Energy Administration (NEA) has told local authorities to curb what it deems “irrational” development of coal-to-oil and coal-to-gas projects.
Newly available technology has sparked an investment spree by Chinese companies that have looked to cash in on coal-to-x projects. However, the NEA noted that a number of these investments have been made regardless of environmental or economic realities.
The country will ban coal-to-gas projects with an output of no more than 2 billion m3/year and coal-to-oil schemes that produce 1 million tpa, according to an NEA document.
Projects larger than those will be subject to regulatory approval from the State Council, China's cabinet, the NEA said.
Previous data showed that almost 70% of energy consumed in China comes from coal. The NEA noted that developing coal-to-oil and coal-to-gas is significant for ensuring China's energy security and the shift towards cleaner energy use.
However, some regions have been enthusiastic about building new plants, and there are signs of blind development regardless of realities in environment, water resources, as well as technological and economic capabilities, the NEA said.
Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson
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