China’s goal to reduce excess coal capacity will be far less ambitious this year, only 20% of last year’s target, because scaling back coal production is expected to be increasingly difficult due to rising prices and concerns over lost jobs. The government aims to close down coal mines representing a combined annual production capacity of 50 million tons, far less than the 250-million-ton goal set for last year. “Coal capacity certainly remains excessive, (but) the annual-capacity reduction target cannot be set at a very high level every year,” He Yongjian, a deputy chief of the NEA’s planning department, which drafted the directives, told Caixin on Saturday. He added that the government plans to shutter more than 500 coal mines this year. Last year’s overcapacity reduction goal was exceeded by the actual shutdown of about 300 million tons in coal capacity.
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