A deal between Chinese and South African companies that includes cooperation on coal-to-oil technology may help reduce China's dependency on imports. The agreement was signed during a visit by Premier Wen Jiabao, who was in South Africa as part a seven-nation tour of the continent. The technology was developed by the world's largest producer of synthetic fuel from coal, Sasol. A consortium led by China's Shenhua Corp. signed the agreement, the South China Morning Post reported. The deal includes the second part of a study for the construction of a coal liquefaction plant in Shaanxi. If it becomes operational, the plant could produce up to 80,000 barrels of oil per day from coal. A similar deal was signed a day earlier for another project in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
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