North China's coal-rich provinces and regions are gearing up
production and shipping emergency supplies to the country's
southern areas plagued by persistent blizzard.
Shanxi Coking Coal Group, a major producer in the northern
province, has increased its coal production by 20 percent in the
past few days. The coal currently makes up 60 percent of its total
shipment, up from 40 percent during normal times.
Since Jan. 25, shipments of the coal have been multiplied by
200,000 tons by Taiyuan Railway Bureau. A total of 13,000 train
carriages were loaded with the coal each day, 3,000 more than
The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has produced 32 million
tons of coal so far this month, four million tons more than the
same period last year. Additionally, it has used two million tons
of reserve coal to supplement stock at power plants in southern
Wang Liming, a Hohhot Railway Bureau official in charge of coal
shipments, said 3.7 million tons of coal were transported via rail
in January. Over the past five days, 180,000 tons were shipped
Authorities said major railways in north China have all given
priority to the transport of electricity coal. Shipment of other
commodities, except grain, cooking oil, basic foods, fertilizers
and refined oil, should all give way to trains loaded with the
Most of China is currently in dire need of power amid severe
disruptions caused by the prolonged snow, rain and cold
Blocked roads and railways have hampered coal shipments on rail
lines in the southern areas. Most power plants in the southern
Guangdong Province, which has only two days of coal supply left,
have resorted to shipping in emergency supplies.
About 4.5 million tons of coal is expected to arrive at the
Guangzhou port from north China's Bohai Bay in a fleet of 125 cargo
ships. Some of the vessels had canceled their international
missions to assist in the shipment.
(Xinhua News Agency February 1, 2008)