China will see increased efforts in coal supply across the country, with the total coal production this year grew 300 million tonnes to over 3.5 billion tonnes as compared to 2010, the China Coal Industry Association was cited as saying.
The country's net imports of the fuel in 2011 are expected to reach around 150 million tonnes.
China has seen rapid growth in energy supply and demand in the first ten months as compared to the same period last year, propping up the national economy, said officials with the National Energy Committee.
Coal production and consumption each in January-October amounted to 3 billion tonnes, up 9.5% and 13.1% respectively; railways transported 1.88 billion tonnes of coal, an increment of 13.4%; power generation and consumption each totaled 4 billion kwh, up 12.3% and 11.9%; crude oil imports increased 8.6% to 210 million tonnes and refined oil consumption increased 5.6% to 200 million tonnes; natural gas supply was 100 billion cubic meters, up 20%.
In an effort to secure coal supply with the coming of year-end, China's Ministry of Railway improved its transportation plan as early as November and struggled to meet the nation's demand for the fuel. Currently, coal inventories at the country's 363 direct-supply power plants were sufficient for around 20 days of consumption.
However, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's top economic planner, also warned that coal short supply would occur in some regions and considered it a tough task to ensure stable coal supply during the winter and coming spring.
The NDRC announced on November 30 adjustments for the prices of non-residential power and thermal coal in order to ease power shortages and reduce financial pressure on power companies.
The NDRC also said that it will allow the contract price of major thermal coal to float by no more than 5 percent next year, but the spot price of 5,500-kilocalorie coal should be capped within 800 yuan per tonne at major shipping ports.
The prices will stay in place until thermal coal prices stabilize on a national level, it said.
"The important thing is to control energy demand at a reasonable level and strengthen efforts in energy saving and emission reduction. We also need to spare no efforts to promote industrial structural adjustment in line with the 12th Five-year Plan and curb overcapacity and the excessive development of energy-intensive industries," said Zhang Guobao, an official with the National Energy Committee.
Industry experts expected a slowdown in energy-demand growth next year due to sluggish global economy, slower pace in national economic growth and increased efforts in energy saving and industrial structural adjustment.
China's coal capacity will grow year by year and its railway transportation capability will see marked increase, while the growth in power demand is expected to recede to around 10%, said a researcher with the NDRC.
The China Energy Research Society appealed, in a report about China's energy development in 2011, released recently, that China should focus on improving energy pricing mechanism during the 12th Five-year Plan Period and accelerate energy marketization.
Source: Steel Home