China's Shanxi Closes 163 Coal Mines in Five Years
January 3, 2021 - Shanxi, a major coal-producing region in north China, has shut down 163 coal mines and eliminated 146.05 million tonnes of annual coal production capacity over the past five years.
The province closed 57 coal mines and cut 30.19 million tonnes of coal production capacity this year, according to the provincial energy bureau. The number of closures hit a record high since Shanxi started cutting outdated coal capacity in 2016.
The coal industry once brought prosperity to Shanxi but also led to a series of problems including resource waste by excessive mining and a sluggish economy without diverse drivers and sufficient technological innovation.
Following central government orders, authorities in Shanxi have been resolute in eliminating outdated capacity.
The province reduced 115.86 million tonnes of excess coal capacity from 2016 to 2019, one year ahead of its schedule for meeting the target of cutting 113.8 million tonnes during the 13th five-year plan period (2016-2020). The reduction amount was the largest among all provincial-level regions.
The province, however, developed advanced production capacity to ensure coal supply. In the first 11 months of this year, its raw coal production reached 962 million tonnes, compared to 816 million tonnes for the whole of 2016.