China steps up overcapacity cuts in coal sector
A total of 2,802 coal enterprises were eliminated in China over the past five years as supply-side structural reform in the coal mining sector accelerated nationwide, data from the China National Coal Association (CNCA) showed.
Nationwide, the number of large coal producers was cut to 5,067 by the end of last year from 7,869 in 2012, according to CNCA.
Around 1,000 coal mines will be closed this year in 12 provincial-level regions, including Shanxi province and Inner Mongolia autonomous region, two of China’s leading coal-producing regions.
In the first seven months of this year, about 128 million tons of backward coal production capacity were forced out of the market, reaching 85 percent of the annual target, data showed.
To cope with environmental pressure and achieve sustainable growth, China has been pushing industrial upgrades and improvements to the structure of energy consumption.
By the end of 2016, coal consumption in total energy had decreased by about 6.5 percent compared to 2012, while the share of clean energy increased by 5.2 percent, according to the National Energy Administration.
The coal sector saw improving profitability amid the country’s efforts to cut excess capacity and improve efficiency.
In the first half, the country’s large coal companies registered total profits of 147.48 billion yuan ($22.2 billion), 140.31 billion yuan more than the same period last year, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.