In a meeting on December 31, 2009, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced a halt to approvals of new coke, carbide, methanol, and other traditional coal chemical projects.
China has seen an acute overcapacity in the coal industry in recent years. At the end of 2009, the newly added production capacity in the coal industry on top of 2008 is estimated at around 300 million tons. Thirty-one carbide and 25 methanol national projects are currently under construction. The overcapacity will be further intensified after they are put into operation. Coal-rich regions, one after another, have been planning coal chemical projects in recent years. The capacity of total submitted coal-to-oil conversion projects exceeds 40 million tons, coal-to-olefins is at 20 million tons, and coal-to-natural gas is 25 billion cubic meters — the equivalent of a one trillion yuan investment.
Source: People’s Daily, December 31, 2009