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China Henan to reopen coal mines, power new alum cap

( Reuters)
Updated: 2008-07-25 13:48

   China's Henan province will reopen small coal mines with 60 million tonnes of annual capacity in the second half, a planning official said on Thursday.

    The additional supply of coal would be enough to power more than 1 million tonnes of new aluminium smelting capacity that is due to start production in the second half, the official at Henan Development and Reform Commission told Reuters.

    "In the second half, large amounts of small coal mines will come into production," the administrative official at the Henan planner said.

    Some 35 small coal mines with capacity of more than 5 million tonnes a year had been reopened in the first half, he said. The small mines had been closed for upgrading.

    The reopened coal mines were required to make sales to power plants a priority, the official said, adding that power plants would then be asked to secure the electricity needs of aluminium smelters.

    "We have known about the 1 million tonnes of new capacity. There are no problems for the start-ups," the official said.

    Some of China's top aluminium smelters have been forced to cut output as they struggle with power supply shortages and higher costs.


   Henan had about 3 million tonnes of aluminium smelting capacity in 2007, nearly 20 percent of China's total. The capacity has increased to more than 3.5 million tonnes in July, smelter officials in Henan estimated.

    Henan produced 189 million tonnes of coal in 2007, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

    The province, China's No. 3 coal producer after Shanxi and Inner Mongolia, sells coal and electricity to other provinces.


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