The accelerated pace of coal mine-capacity expansions this year, plus efforts to boost coal production, should see North China’s Shanxi province – the country’s top coal mining hub – produce over 1.2 billion tonnes of coal for all uses in total in 2021, said Zhang Xiang, spokesperson for Shanxi Development and Reform Commission.
Over January-October, Shanxi produced 982.3 million tonnes of raw coal for all uses, up 11.1% on year, and if realised, the 1.2 billion tonnes forecast will be around 13% higher on year, Mysteel Global calculated based on the official data. China’s total raw coal production is around 4 billion tonnes annually, as reported.
Addressing a press conference in the provincial capital of Taiyuan on December 3, Zhang noted that the province’s monthly coal production has stayed above 100 million tonnes since July. “Recently, Shanxi’s coal production has stayed above 3.3 million tonnes/day on average, and on November 30, output reached 3.6 million tonnes,” he noted.
To secure steady coal supplies to Chinese users, coal miners of Shanxi had signed contracts with end-users in 14 provinces or regions nationwide to supply a total of 46 million tonnes of coal over October-December. By November 30, 26.9 million tonnes or 58.6% of the signed volume had been delivered, according to him.
By November 30 too, thermal coal stocks at the province’s power plants totalled 9.7 million tonnes, or 140.5% of the volume as of the same day last year, with the province’s power stations holding sufficient reserves for more than ten days’ consumption. Moreover, no power rationing measures have needed to be adopted recently anywhere in the province, Zhang added.
Shanxi’s authorities have been reviewing capacity expansion options at the province’s coal mines since the start of this year, as part of measures to boost coal supply. As of the date of the press conference, capacity expansions had been approved at 35 coal mines and added 47.1 million tonnes/year of capacity to the province, according to Hou Bingrang, spokesperson for Shanxi Energy Administration.
Besides, local authorities had completed operation reviews of another 33 coal mines (currently undergoing process rectification), and these are expected to add 27.8 million t/y of coal capacity after commissioning. Another 39 mines are under review, and if all these mines are permitted to expand capacity, another 20 million t/y of coal capacity will be added as well, according to Hou.