China could meet target of cutting coal overcapacity in 2018

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Loading coal in Heilongjiang province. Photo: Reuters/Jason Lee

China is expected to basically complete its target of cutting the overcapacity in the coal industry in 2018, said Zhao Chenxi, head of the Economic Operation Regulatory Bureau at the National Development and Reform Commission, Economic Daily reported.

According to the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), China will eliminate a total of more than 800 million metric tonnes of outdated coal capacity.

Over the following period, the commission will strictly abide by the standards for the withdrawal of overcapacity.

Zhao said they will resolutely withdraw from the “zombie enterprises” that have been suspended for a long period of time, suffering losses for years, are insolvent or without viability and potential for development.

Also, illegal and substandard coal mines, or risky and small coal mines with less than 90,000 metric tonnes of output should be closed down as soon as possible, Zhao added.

So far, there still are 3,500 small coal mines with a total capacity of 500 million metric tonnes, accounting for 10% of the total annual output. More than 50% of safety accidents occurred in these areas.

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