An excavator loads coal onto a train in Pingdingshan, Henan province, China November 4, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song
China will boost the production of more modern coal mines and enhance coal reserve capacity, and aims to increase the government-deployable storage to 5% of local consumption, the country's state economic planner said on Saturday.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) also said in a statement during the annual parliament gathering that it will guarantee coal transportation and further improve coal pricing mechanisms.
The promises follow the central government's approval of hundreds of new coal mining projects and output expansions at existing mines since the second half of 2021 after tight fuel supplies last year caused a nationwide power shortage that slowed industrial activity.
China's coal output reached a record high of 4.07 billion tonnes last year.
In a separate work report to the parliament on Saturday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged to ensure electricity supply to residential and industrial users this year.
Despite the rapid growth of renewable power, China remains heavily reliant on fossil fuels for its power generation, with more than half of its electricity generated from coal-fired plants.
The NDRC report also addressed the challenges and geopolitical risks of ensuring the supply of coal, electricity and oil and gas and pledged to step up domestic production and storage capacity.
"We will advance the development of major petroleum reserve projects...And build up the momentum of increases in both reserves and output," it said. The Commission also said it plans to accelerate the construction of new underground gas storage in northern and northwestern China.
The government will also promote the market-based integration of provincial oil and gas pipelines to create a unified national network and support the exploration and utilisation of unconventional natural gas, the NDRC said.
China will build large wind and solar power bases, promote offshore wind farm clusters, proceed with the construction of large hydropower bases in southwest China and develop nuclear power in an orderly manner while ensuring safety, the NDRC said.