China plans to add nearly 110 million tonnes per annum of advanced coal production capacity in the second half of 2021 to meet increasing demand for the fossil fuel, the state planner said on Monday.
“Currently, more than 40 million tonnes of coal mining capacity are under government reviews for approval, while some 70 million tonnes are under construction and will gradually be launched,” the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement.
The world’s biggest coal consumer had added more than 140 million tonnes per annum of coal mining capacity in the first half of this year, it said.
Beijing has been urging miners to accelerate construction of advanced mining capacity and ramp up output amid soaring coal prices and robust demand from industrial and residential sectors.
Last week, it said it would release more than 10 million tonnes of coal from its reserves to cool the market.
Eleven provinces in China saw record-high power load last week as a warmer-than-usual weather led to higher use of air conditioning. Total power consumption in the first six months rose 16% from a year earlier.
However, coal output in June fell 5% on-year under tightened mine safety inspections across China after frequent mining accidents.
The NDRC said it had been eliminating small and outdated coal capacity. At present, China has around 4,700 coal mines, down from more than 10,000 in 2015.
The average production capacity at coal mines is above 1.1 million tonnes per annum, it said.
(By Muyu Xu and Shivani Singh; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Subhranshu Sahu)