Chinese coal groups call for urgent increase in production

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Chinese coal industry groups have called on miners to increase production as electricity consumption spiked this summer amid a heatwave north of the Yangtze River.

The groups urged growers to develop emergency supply guarantee plans, state media reported, and said production would have to be ramped up to avoid massive power outages.

Analysts noted that the recent increase in production has led some mines to prioritize quantity over quality, in order to meet government quotas.

The country depends on coal for 60% of its electricity. China faces a large-scale blackout at the end of 2021 which has caused widespread plant closures.

Demand in the north was partially offset by heavy rains in the southern provinceswhich not only slowed the growth of coal consumption in China, but also boosted hydropower generation to an all-time high.

As a result, China’s coal supply should be sufficient ahead of this winter than last year.

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Generation from all sources declines

Production from all sources fell 3% to 4% in April and May compared to the same months in 2021, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show.

Production has declined year-over-year in only 12 of the past 131 months; it was the first consecutive drop since the first wave of the epidemic in 2020, illustrating the impact of the confinements on the economy.

Generation in the first five months as a whole totaled 3,248 billion kilowatt hours (kWh), an increase of just 71 billion kWh (2.2%) from the same period in 2021.

Almost all of the increase came from hydroelectric generators, which increased output by 66 billion kWh compared to 2021, according to data compiled by Reuters.

  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell

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george russell

George Russell is a Hong Kong-based freelance writer and editor who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has appeared in the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes, and South China Morning Post. . .

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