Abundant coal resources bring Shanxi Province not only wealth but acute pain, according to China Economic Net writers Liu Cunrui and Qi Zeping.
In an article titled “Why Shanxi limit coal output to 700 million tons?” the authors claim a pattern of primary industrial coal use, extensive management, inefficient use of energy and waste of resources in Shanxi which has resulted in a devastated ecological environment.
“According to statistics by departments concerned, the overall energy consumption of RMB10,000/yuan output value is twice the national average,” says the article.
But according to the authors, curbing energy intensive projects such as electrolytic aluminium and iron industries to meet the 700 million ton (635 million tonne) output cap placed on Shanxi coal by 2010 will result in hidden trouble of surplus production capacity of the coal industry.
The authors estimate a required output exceeding 1 billion tons from Shanxi by 2010, based on the rapidly rising production figures of 502 million tons in 2004 and 550 million tons in 2005.
Shanxi Province has said enterprises with high consumption of resources, serious environmental pollution and low economic profits will be strictly banned. “To this end, it is necessary to rely on the adoption of science and technology to reconstruct existing industrial enterprises through using high technology and equipment, increasing technology content and pushing forward optimisation and upgrading of industrial structure,” the article says.
“Promoting coordinated and sustainable development of economy and society in Shanxi Province is of great significance to both economic development of Shanxi Province and the guarantee of national energy supply security,” it says.