North China’s Shanxi province, now the country’s top coal mining region, has pledged to control development of the province’s coal resources and stabilize annual raw coal production at around 1 billion tonnes during the 14th Five-Year Plan over 2021-2025.
Over the previous five years, Shanxi’s raw coal production drew steadily from 816 million tonnes in 2016 to reach 1.06 billion tonnes last year, according to data from National Bureau of Statistics. The new plan indicates that the province will not focus on ramping-up production further.
The province will keep promoting the modernization of coal mining operations during the current Five-Year Period, and by 2025, all its coal mines with capacities above 1.2 million t/y and those with high risks of accidents will achieve ‘intellectualisation’, according to the province’s plan released on April 13.
According to the central government’s guidance for the industry, ‘intellectualisation’ means combining artificial intelligence, the industrial Internet of Things, robotics and other high-tech means in coal resources development to enhance coal mining safety and maintain steady production.
After Beijing’s recent announcement committing China to reach peak carbon emissions by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2060, Shanxi vowed to control the province’s energy consumption and increase the percentage of clean and renewable energy in all energy consumed over 2021-2025.
The province will promote the steady decline of coal consumption volume over 2021-2025, though no detailed target has been released as yet. Shanxi has been heavily relying on coal as its dominant energy supply source, and by 2020, the percentage of coal in the province’s total energy mix was around 80%, or much higher than the national average of 56.8%, Mysteel Global understood.
For the 13th Five-Year Plan over 2016-2020,Shanxi had been the core contributor towards helping the central government achieve its target to eliminate 800 million tonnes/year of obsolete raw coal capacity. Over the past five years, the province removed 157 million t/y of excess capacity.
The province’s coal mining safety also improved significantly in the meantime, as the rate of accident fatalities per million tonnes of coal produced in Shanxi declined from 0.079 in 2015 to 0.023 by 2020.
Source: Sean Xie & Russ McCulloch
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