UPDATE 1-China to limit coal production output - media

Tue Nov 2, 2010 2:00am GMT

* Next 5-year plan to limit coal output at around 3.8 bln T

* China to step up coal mines consolidation efforts

* China's power-generating capacity seen exceeding 1.4 bln KW (Adds five-year plan on coal, details, background

SHANGHAI, Nov 2 (Reuters) - China plans to limit its coal output and step up mines consolidation in its next five-year plan though power capacity is expected to exceed 1.4 billion kilowatts by the middle of the next decade, local media reported.

China plans to limit annual coal production to between 3.6 and 3.8 billion tonnes in its next five-year development plan, compared with 3.2 billion tonnes mined in 2009, China's Century Business Herald said on Tuesday, citing China Coal Research Institute's director He Youguo.

He said under the blueprint, large coal miners should account for around 66 percent, or about 2.5 billion tonnes, of the targetted yearly production, while total output for mid-sized mines with a capacity of above 300,000 tonnes would be limited at 800 million tonnes.

Total output from small mines, classed as those with annual capacity of lower than 300,000 tonnes, would be limited to 500 million tonnes, the paper said.

China is the world's largest coal producer and consumer, but its highly fragmented coal industry has long been plagued with a poor safety record as well as inefficient and polluting mining operations.

He said coal mines consolidation would remain as a key focus for the government and it plans to establish 8-10 major coal firms with annual capacity of above 100 million tonnes and another 8-10 companies with output of around 50 million tonnes.   Continued...

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