China orders step-up in coal output - Emirates24|7

China orders step-up in coal output

Some quake-hit areas in China were running low on supplies of coal, and authorities have urged coal-producing provinces to step up output to help fill the gap, media said.

An emergency circular of the State Council also called on the provinces to hasten the resumption of work at small coal mines that had been suspended from operating to fix safety problems, Xinhua news agency said.

China's coal industry has been under stress due to coal shortages this year, a situation worsened by the May 12 quake, which struck in the southwest and damaged a "considerable" number of hydropower stations.

The coal will fuel thermal stations in the quake zone, the circular said. By May 21, coal stocks had fallen to an amount good for less than seven days in some power plants in quake-hit Sichuan province, Xinhua said.

Since then, trains have ferried coal in to Sichuan. Though there were shortages in some areas of coal, oil, electricity and agricultural goods, the supply was generally sufficient, the circular said.

Coal production in the quake zone should resume soon, and coal-producing counties should seek approval if they want to reduce output.