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China's coal production can meet domestic demands
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China's overall capacity of coal production meets domestic demand, an official with the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) said in Beijing on Friday.

"Recently, some areas of China suffered inadequate electricity and coal supply, but the phenomenon was caused by a variety of reasons, such as transportation strain," said Jia Qihai, director of mineral resources development and management department under the MLR on the sidelines of the First Session of the 11th National People's Congress.

The number of China's coal mines reached 87,000, the historic peak, in 1995. In 2005, the number of coal mines dropped to more than 26,000.

Over the past two years , another 11,200 coal mines which were small, heavily-polluted and with "hidden dangers for work safety" were closed. At the same time some coal mines were integrated via economic and legal means, so as to reasonably utilize resources and guarantee work safety.

After rectification, coal production output exceeded 2.5 billion tons last year and the phenomenon that China's coal mines were "too many, small and scattered" has been changed, said Jia.

"Through intensive management, there will be no problem in guaranteeing long-term and adequate coal supplies for the domestic market," he said.

Earlier this year, during the snowstorm disaster, Chinese President Hu Jintao inspected coal fields in Datong, Shanxi Province and Qinhuangdao Port, through which much of Shanxi's coal is shipped, and called for the production and transport of coal for power generation.

At the end of January and early February, power grids in central Hubei and Hunan provinces, and southwestern Guizhou and southern Guangdong provinces had been seriously damaged by severe snowstorms and sub-zero temperatures.

(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2008)

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