China’s coal consumption is expected to reach 4.8 billion t by 2020, according to a recent forecast from the China National Coal Association (CNCA).
Vice president of the association, Liang Jiakun, commented that China’s coal industry has further growth potential as coal remains the country’s main source of energy, currently accounting for over 60% of China’s primary energy resources.
CNCA data showed that China’s coal output increased to 3.65 billion t last year, up from 2.35 billion t in 2005. This represents an annual increase of 190 million t. The country’s consumption of coal last year was 3.52 billion t.
Liang added that the coal industry faces development challenges as China puts greater emphasis on economic restructuring and transforming economic growth pattern. Environment protection and new regulations has also put a restraint on the development of the industry.
China has been accelerating efforts to restructure the coal industry by shutting down small coal mines, with the total number of mines reduced to 14 000 by the end of last year, down from 24 800 mines in 2005.
Edited from various sources by Katie Woodward
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