According to Reuters, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s top planning body, has said the country will aim to boost its railway capacity for coal haulage by around a third by 2020. The announcement is part of a new plan that aims to streamline the way China’s vast but remote reserves are delivered to consumers.
The NDRC said China’s railway network delivered 2.26 billion t of coal in 2012, an increase of 55% since 2005. The planning body now plans to raise this figure to 3 billion tpa by 2020.
As the country looks to ease concerns over pollution, China has been trying to shift much of its coal capacity further west and consolidate output in a number of large-scale “coal production bases” that are often in remote regions, such as Inner Mongolia, Ningxia and Xinjiang. The NDRC said it would now aim to create a number of “channels” to connect these production regions to major energy consumers on the eastern coast.
China has struggled recently with bottlenecks developing in the country’s limited infrastructure. Existing road, rail and port networks have been unable to handle the vast number of cargoes required to feed the country’s power plants.
On the NDRC’s website, the body said that railway capacity was still far from adequate, forcing sellers to rely on an already congested road network to deliver coal. It also said that China’s port throughput capacity was also insufficient.
As well as increasing coal railway haulage capacity, China would also create a unified national emergency stockpile and build 11 large-scale storage and distribution bases to help improve the nationwide flow of coal.
Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson
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