China to Boost Coal Output to Record Levels Despite Environmental Worries
BEIJING China plans to boost coal output by up to 18 percent before 2010 to meet soaring energy needs despite environmental concerns, a government newspaper quoted an industry official as saying.
Annual coal production is projected to reach as much as a record 2.6 billion tons in 2010, up from 2.19 billion tons last year, Guo Yuntao, director of the China Development Research Center for the Coal Industry, told the China Daily newspaper.
That growth rate is much slower than in recent years, when output rose by nearly 70 percent in 2000-2005, Guo said in comments published by the newspaper on Saturday.
The latest forecast is based on projections that government efforts to improve energy efficiency will succeed, the report said.
The government has been trying to encourage use of nontraditional energy sources such as windmills and nuclear power in an effort to clean up the environment and reduce reliance on imported oil.
But coal accounted for 76 percent China's energy needs in 2005, and that proportion could rise to 80 percent after 2010, Guo said.
China's energy consumption per unit of economic output was the same in 2005 as in the previous year, despite pledges to improve efficiency, the China Daily report said.
Source: Associated Press