The first train of coking coal, from Mongolia's mid-east city Choir, arrived at China's border city Ulanqab on September 19, signaling a significant move in coal trade between the two countries.
Loaded with 3,300 tonnes of coking coal, the train took a four-day trip with a total distance of 866 kilometers. The 100-wagon train entered China via Erenhot border crossing, a stop on the Trans-Mongolian Railway.
These coking coal cargoes will be washed in Ulanqab, and then transported to Caofeidian port for export and other consuming regions of China.
"We've launched point-to-point circular transportation from Choir to Miaoliang (the destination rail station in Ulanqab), by which coal shipment is more convenient and cost-effective (than truck delivery)," said the general manager of Mongolian International Container Co., Ltd., which is responsible for Choir-Ulanqab coking coal railway delivery.
The company aims to ship 2-3 million tonnes or at least 1.5 million tonnes of coking coal in the first year. Annual shipment will be no less than 3 million tonnes of coking coal annually when the initiative is in steady operation.
China has been for years the largest coal importer of Mongolian coal. With improving political and economic relationship between the two countries, Mongolia is paying higher attention to coal business with China.
Mongolian coal exports totaled 15.17 million tonnes in the first eight months, customs data showed, with China taking an overwhelming share of 96%, or 14.55 million tonnes.
The Mongolian government is working on construction of a railway from Mongolia's largest coal mine Tavan Tolgoi to Gashunnsukait border crossing, which is set to open to traffic in July 2022.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Harry Huo)
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