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China's largest coal province to cut 20 million tonnes of capacity in 2017 - Xinhua

16 January 2017

China's top coal-producing province Shanxi will cut 20 million tonnes of output capacity this year, state news agency Xinhua reported. Tackling excess coal production capacity will remain the provincial government's priority in 2017, Xinhua quoted Shanxi Governor Lou Yangsheng as saying on January 14.

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The reduction cuts should be achieved through market and law-based means, Lou said, while mergers and acquisitions in the sector would also be encouraged.

Shanxi, in the country's north, accounts for about a quarter of coal production in China, which has been working to curb excess capacity and a supply glut of the fossil fuel. The province shed 23.25 million tonnes of coal production capacity and shut down 25 coal mines last year, Xinhua said.

The province plans to cap output and consolidate the industry around big producers over the next four years in a bid to boost efficiency, according to a blueprint by the provincial government. The province's annual coal output would be capped by 2020 at 1 billion tonnes and capacity at 1.2 billion tonnes annually by 2020.

At the same time, China's coal imports in 2016 were 255.5 million tonnes, Reuters reported, quoting official customs data. This was a 25.2% rise on the figure for 2015.

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