December 28, 2017 / 10:41 AM / a year ago

China's Shandong to shut 10.23 million T coal capacity after Beijing's criticism

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s industrialized province of Shandong plans to eliminate 10.23 million tonnes of coal capacity, a local official said on Thursday, two days after the central government criticized Shandong officials for failing to take action to curb coal capacity.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) issued a statement on Tuesday accusing Shandong officials of deceiving authorities to evade capacity cuts in the polluting coal, steel, aluminum and chemical sectors.

“Local authorities in Shandong performed badly on reducing coal use... total coal consumption in 2015 and 2016 increased by 6.94 million tonnes and 7.06 million tonnes respectively compared to the level in 2012,” the MEP said in the statement.

Criticism came after the central government dispatched inspectors to Shandong in August and September to check its environmental situation.

Shandong said it has met the 2017 target of eliminating 2.55 million tonnes coal capacity.

“In 2018, Shandong will continue to deepen supply-side reform by shutting nine (local government-backed) coal mine totaling 10.23 million tonnes of coal capacity,” Zhang Bin, director at Shandong Provincial State-Owned Assets and Administration Commission, said in a news briefing.

Reporting by Muyu Xu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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