China's coal-rich Shanxi province to halt or slow mines construction until 2020

China's Shanxi province, the country's top coal producer, has decided to suspend or hold back the development of mines until 2020, which effectively will take out of the market about of 120 million tonnes of the fossil fuel.

The province will also stop the construction of more coal mines over the period to further reduce capacity, state-owned news agency Xinhua reported, quoting a recent coal industry development plan published by the local government.

Currently, Shanxi supplies coking coal to China's top steel mills and also exports to Japan and Korea.

Coal output at Shanxi, in the country's north, will be capped by 2020 at 1 billion tonnes and capacity at 1.2 billion tonnes annually by 2020.

Currently, the province supplies coking coal to China's top steel mills and also exports to Japan and Korea.

Earlier this month, provincial authorities announced they it will close 18 collieries and cut 17 million tonnes of coal capacity by the end of the year.

China, the world’s largest coal consumer and producer, is in the midst of an aggressive plan to reduce the share of coal in its overall energy mix and consequent smog and greenhouse gas emissions.

As part of that strategy, Beijing announced in January its intention to shut down 800 million tonnes of outdated coal capacity by 2020.

The country has also made public recently its goal of modernizing its coal-fired power plants by 2020 in an effort to cut “polluting” emissions by 60%. The government also aims to add over 20 million kilowatts of installed wind power and more than 15 million kilowatts of installed photovoltaic power by the end of the decade.