China has accelerated the releasement of advanced coal capacity since Premier Li Keqiang announced the plan to ensure energy supply in mid-May.
Premier Li also stressed on June 21 for increasing power supply to avoid electricity cuts this summer.
Early in May, the State Council approved to allocate 50 billion yuan of renewable energy subsidies to power-generating companies and 10 billion yuan will be injected through the state-owned capital operating budget to support coal power enterprises and help increase power generation.
The central government said to release advanced coal production capacity in a safe and orderly manner and will not allow aggressive power cuts like what occurred last year.
After that, the Ministry of Emergency Management, National Mine Safety Administration, National Development and Reform Commission and National Energy Administration jointly issued a notice on strengthening the management of coal mine capacity verification and ordered release of advanced production capacity from eligible mines.
On June 13, the NDRC determined a list of coal mines that meet the conditions for safe capacity expansion, including three coal mines run by CHN Energy's Xinjiang subsidiary.
The three mines were approved to add 22 million tonnes per annum of capacity. The production capacity of Zhundong open-cast coal mine will be increased from 26 Mtpa to 35 Mtpa; that of Hongshaquan No. 1 open-cast coal mine will be increased from 20 Mtpa to 30 Mtpa; and Heishan open-cast coal mine will increase from 13 Mtpa to 16 Mtpa.
Capacity in Zhonglian Runshi Xinjiang Coal Industry Co. was also allowed to increase by 4 Mtpa to 12 Mtpa.
Although there were limited details about capacity expansion at other coal mines, the list is possibly dominated by large-scale coal mines, with relatively large increment of capacity.
In China, the energy supply guarantee mostly means coal supply guarantee, as the fuel would be the mainstay of China's energy mix for the near term.
Ensuring a rapid growth of raw coal production is still the main content of energy work in the near future, and that needs to be based on the continuous release of advanced production capacity.
(Writing by Emma Yang Editing by Harry Huo)
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