A feasibility study on the ways to efficiently harness Inner
Mongolia Autonomous Region's rich oil and coal resources has been
completed, paving the way for the government to develop the region
into one of the country's key strategic energy bases.
Han Wenke, director of the energy research institute under the
National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the nation's top
planner, said yesterday that a comprehensive plan with a
supervision structure was needed to prevent "unscientific
exploration", and subsequent environmental damage from
The research was jointly launched by the NDRC, the Ministry of
Finance, the Development Research Center of the State Council, the
Chinese Academy of Sciences and other related departments.
The Asian Development Bank has funded the research since the
beginning of last year.
Details of the project are expected to be released next
Inner Mongolia has some 89 percent of the world's 150 different
types of mineral resources.
Oil reserves are estimated to be as much as 4 billion tons.
Duan Lianao, head of the research program under the Asian
Development Bank, was quoted yesterday by the China Economic Times
as saying that Inner Mongolia is rich in energy resources and its
geographic location makes it suitable to become a major pillar for
the industrial development of northern China.
The region covers an area of almost 1.2 million sq km and
accounts for roughly 12 percent of the country's land area.
In the first three quarters of last year, the autonomous region
exported almost one-third of its electricity to northern regions in
China, mainly Beijing.
However, the exploration and harnessing of the region's energy
reserves has not been very efficient or suitable for long-term
development, Han said.
The development of clean energy sources such as wind and solar
power in Inner Mongolia now rank "first and second in the world,
respectively", he said.
(China Daily January 2, 2008)