March 6, 2018 Read More →

China, Biggest Coal Consumer, Presses Ahead With Reforms


At the opening of the annual meeting of parliament, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a work report it will reduce steel capacity by around 30 million tonnes and coal output by about 150 million tonnes this year.

The cuts would put the world’s top steel maker and coal miner on track to meet its 2020 targets in the government’s five-year plan about two years ahead of schedule.

The cutbacks came as Premier Li Keqiang said in prepared remarks that the government would consolidate gains made in the country’s fight against pollution to defend the “blue of our skies.

China planned to cut emissions of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, major sources of hazardous airborne particles known as PM2.5, by 3 percent this year, Li said. That’s the same as the 2017 targets, which were easily exceeded.

Elsewhere, the NDRC report largely reiterated existing goals, underscoring China’s years-long determination to crack down on pollution, cut back supply in bloated heavy industries and upgrade fossil-fuel energy sources by cutting coal use in favor of cleaner energy.

In both steel and coal, it has focused on shutting outdated, more polluting plants, while bringing on more efficient operations with lower emissions to ensure supply. Steel output hit a record last year, while coal production also rose.

The 2018 cuts were higher than expected, said Zhang Min, a coal market analyst at China Sublime Information Group.

“Setting a high target this year showed the government is not slowing down the pace of reform for the two industries,” said Zhang.

More: China to cut more coal, steel output to defend ‘blue skies’

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