CHINA proposes to further reshuffle its coal industry by setting higher thresholds for the scale of coal producers and encouraging mergers to form industrial conglomerates, the government said yesterday.
The minimum standard for the scale of coal producers will be raised gradually under a revised draft of coal industrial policies released by the National Energy Administration to solicit public opinions on the proposals.
The draft suggests the annual output of coal companies in the country's three major coal-producing regions - Shanxi, Inner Mongolia and northern Shaanxi - should not be less than 3 million tons.
It also says large-sized coal enterprises will be encouraged to form alliances with each other or merge with smaller companies to develop big industrial groups.
The move came as China's coal sector is seeing softening growth and plunging prices due to overcapacity and sluggish demand amid the economic downturn.
Coal output rose 4 percent to 3.66 billion tons in 2012, 4.7 percentage points weaker than that of the previous year, according to the China National Coal Association.
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