China's Xinjiang to develop coal mine for power

OREANDA-NEWS. The Chinese government has approved the construction of a new large-scale coal mine in northwest China's Xinjiang, part of plans to shift large power generation developments to inland provinces.

China's main economic planning agency the NDRC has approved the 10mn t/yr open-cut Dananhu 1 coal mine and washing facility, in east Xinjiang's Hami area, according to the region's local development commission. The operation has mineable reserves of 2.9bn t.

An adjacent power plant will use coal from the mine to generate electricity, which in turn will be transmitted along a high-voltage transmission line to Zhengzhou city in central China's Henan province.

Beijing is encouraging the development of new coal mines and large coal-fired power units in Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia for long-distance power transmission, as it looks to reduce the concentration of pollution in eastern provinces and lower fuel transport costs. Xinjiang has already increased power generation, transmitting 14.6TWh through major lines to other parts of the country in the first half of this year, which was more than double the amount of electricity transmitted in the same period of 2014. This is equivalent to burning of some 4.84mn t of coal with a calorific value (CV) of 7,000 kcal/kg, according to the Xinjiang development and reform commission, although use of lower CV 5,500 kcal/kg coal would require more than 6mn t.

An increasing proportion of power generation in western China is to dampen demand for already sluggish thermal coal imports in the long term, as the country's coal consumption increasingly shifts away from coastal areas.