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Coking Companies Under Tighter Scrutiny

China's coke companies will face tighter inspections of their environment-protecting capabilities. Those who fail will have their business licenses revoked.

The news was disclosed here Sunday by sources from the State Administration of Environmental Protection at the First International Forum on the Coking Industry.

The official said that coking coal manufactures unable to meet the country's environmental protection standards will be closed down. Their pollutant disposal licenses will also be revoked, he added.

In the meantime, he said, new speculators aiming to enter the already overheated sector will be put through stricter scrutiny.

China's coking coal industry has witnessed a rapid expansion in recent years because of the rocketing demand and consumption of steel products that take coking coal as one of its raw materials.

In 2004, China's coke output reached 224 million tons, or 56 percent of the world's total, up 25.8 percent over 2003.

With an existing production capacity of 250 million tons, and equipment with a designed production capacity of 80 million tons under construction, China's coke supply will no doubt overtake last year's consumption of 136 million tons, as official forecasts revealed.

(Xinhua News Agency May 16, 2005)

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