China's National Energy Administration (NEA) greenlit three new coal mine projects in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, according to a document issued on September 15, following the approval of another four coal projects late last month.
The three coal mines, designed with the annual production capacity of 1.2 million tonnes each, should be built by replacing equal or more outdated capacity in other places. Coal preparation plants with the same scale are also built simultaneously.
On August 31, the NEA gave the nod to establishment of four coal mines in the region, with a combined capacity of 5.1 million tonnes per annum. New capacity is also gained by substituting for old capacity elsewhere.
The NEA said in the document that the move is to enlarge Xinjiang as another key coal production base after Shanxi, Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia.
For the purpose of environmental protection and economic growth, China has gradually for years scaled down coal capacity in southern and eastern regions while expanding construction of new capacity in the northern and western coal-rich regions.
In January-July, Xinjiang's coal production totaled 147.26 million tonnes, accounting for 6.94% of China's total.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Tammy Yang)
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