China’s energy regulator has confirmed the country will aim to close more than 1000 coal mines over the course of this year, with a total production capacity of 60 million tonnes, as part of its plans to tackle a price-sapping supply glut in the sector.
In a notice posted on its website, the National Energy Administration said the closures would form part of the plan released earlier this month to shut as much as 500 million tonnes of surplus production capacity within the next three to five years.
As part of its power market reforms, China would also further promote a scheme allowing suppliers to enter into direct power sales agreements with consumers, and would also work to reduce power prices this year, it said.
At the same time it’s been revealed that China’s smoggy capital will almost double the number of air monitoring stations to give a better idea about the true state of the city’s air quality.
An extra 30 stations will be added to the 35 already in operation in places like schools, Zhang Dawei, director of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Centre, told Xinhua state news agency.
Beijing frequently features near the top of the list of China’s most polluted cities as emissions from vehicles and heavy industry combine with weather conditions to raise smog levels.
“After the upgrade we will have more data about the city’s air quality,” Mr Zhang was quoted as saying.
It did not give a time frame for when the new stations would come online.
A senior environment official said the city’s air quality has improved over the last two years.
The authorities have increased efforts to reduce air pollution in the wake of the city’s first “red alerts” in December last year, when hazardous smog engulfed the city.