Coal company China Shenhua is considering acquisitions in Indonesia and Australia, the company's chairman told the Financial Times. Chen Biting said these foreign-based mines could be used to supply the south China market because of rising costs attached to transporting coal from the country's northwest. "If we transport from the west to the east and then to the south, the distance will be a little bit longer than that from Indonesia to Guangdong and the profit would not be so good," he said. Shenhua accounts for 10% of China's coal output, generating 200 million metric tons per year from its 54 mines. It is also developing coal-to-liquids and coal-to-chemicals projects. China became a net coal importer for the first time during the first half of 2007, largely due to rising coal prices and transport costs.