HONG KONG, May 29 (Reuters) - China Shenhua Energy said it has received approval to build a 3.82 billion yuan ($602.05 million) coal loading facility in eastern China as the country’s largest coal producer further beefs up its coal transportation capability.
Shenhua will build three coal loading berths, with a combined capacity of 35 million tonnes of coal a year, in the eastern port city of Tianjin, it said in a statement.
The investment will be 30 percent funded by equity and the rest bank loans, the company said.
Shenhua, unlike many other Chinese coal producers, also owns substantial railway, port and power generation businesses — an integrated business model that analysts say gives the company an edge over its competitors given the coal transportation bottleneck in China.
Shares of Shenhua were up more than 1 percent in Hong Kong in early morning trade on Tuesday, versus a 0.2 percent dip in the benchmark Hang Seng Index. The stock is trading at a premium to China Coal, the country’s number two coal producer, and Yanzhou Coal.
Shenhua said last month its commercial coal production rose 12 percent in the first quarter to 79.1 million tonnes, accounting for 27 percent of its annual operating target. Sales volume increased 16 percent to 108 million tonnes, accounting for 26 percent of its 2012 target. ($1 = 6.3450 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Charlie Zhu; Editing by Michael Perry)