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China Interested in LNG Cooperation with Australia

A senior Chinese official said in Boao Saturday that China, the world's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) consumer, is interested in cooperation with Australia, which is rich in energy resources.

At a sideline of the Boao Forum for Asia 2005 annual conference, Ma Kai, minister in charge of the State Development and Reform Commission, said that China and Australia have already established a partnership in energy cooperation that includes a dialogue mechanism.

Australia is rich in energy resources while China has a large market potential in energy resources, which makes the two sides complementary to each other, Ma said.

The energy cooperation between China and Australia will focus on intergovernmental exchange and dialogue, joint LNG projects, mutual investment in the energy industry and the development of renewable and new energy resources, he said.

Referring to China's energy resources policy, Ma said the Chinese government has already worked out a long-term strategy that takes into account the sustainable development of energy resources.

The total coal reserves in China are estimated to be up to 1 trillion tons, according to Ma.

In Chinese energy consumption, coal accounts for 67 percent at present. China has abundant coal resources, which primarily ensures energy safety for the country, Ma said.

While keeping coal as the backbone of its energy consumption, Ma said, China urgently needs to develop renewable energy including hydropower, aeolian power, nuclear power, and other clean energies.

The government encourages technological upgrades and energy-saving methods for industrial development, Ma said, adding that his commission is going to strictly implement energy-consumption ceilings for key industries, projects and products.

(Xinhua News Agency April 24, 2005)

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