Xinjiang coal industry brewing "Great Leap Forward"

In Xinjiang’s vast Gobi Desert, coal-fired power and coal chemical projects, each with huge investment, are quietly brewing. Now this piece of land with deserted loess and inaccessible deserts has suddenly become the battlefield for major groups to chase "black gold." Perhaps three to five years later, this place will become a completely different scene.
According to the planning of the regional government, by 2020, Xinjiang's coal production will reach 1 billion tons, accounting for more than two percent of the country's total production. By then, Xinjiang's annual coal output will be 20 times the current annual output. To achieve the above goals, Xinjiang needs an average annual increase of 80 million tons of coal production, which indicates that Xinjiang's coal industry will experience an unprecedented "great leap forward."
Terabytes of Funds Influx According to the data of coal resource reserves, the estimated coal resources of Xinjiang are 2.19 trillion tons, accounting for one fourth of the country's predicted reserves. Such a rich coal resource is becoming the focus of the national energy industry. Compared with the increasingly exhausted coal resources in the inland areas, Xinjiang coal development seems to have just set foot on the first step of the Long March, but this does not prevent the domestic large coal enterprises from rushing to develop the coal resources in Xinjiang.
Xinjiang's coal resources are mainly concentrated in four regions: Zhundong, Tuha, Yili, and Kubai. Among them, Zhundong and Yili are currently the focus of development. Only in these two regions, Shenhua Group, Lu'an Group, Luneng Group, Dozens of domestic large-scale energy and chemical companies, such as Xinwen Mining Group and Yanzhou Mining Group, are exploring and developing coal resources.
Judging from existing projects, the above-mentioned large group of investments are ambitious "big strokes." The Lu'an Group stated that it will build three main industrial chains of coal-electricity-silicon, coal-electricity-oil, and coal-oil in Xinjiang, and build four industrial parks of Hami, Zhundong, Yili and Changji to develop coal and electricity. Oil, machine, chemical, silicon and other six industries. Major projects include the construction of a 300,000-ton synthetic ammonia plant and 500,000-ton urea fertilizer plant in Yili, and 3 million tons of coal-to-oil conversion in Zongdong and Yili, respectively, and eventually expand production to 10 million tons. Currently, Lu'an Group has obtained 26 billion tons of coal resources in Xinjiang. By 2020, the Group's total investment in Xinjiang will reach 153 billion yuan.
Yankuang Group and Xinwen Mining Group from Shandong will also invest heavily in coal mining and utilization projects. Yankuang Group has obtained reserves of 13.6 billion tons of coal resources. By the 12th Five-Year Plan, the Group will invest 62.5 billion yuan to build an annual output of 1.25 million tons of synthetic ammonia and 2 million tons of urea in Xinjiang, and 2 million tons of methanol annually. Projects, and annual output of 300-500 tons of coal to oil and other projects. Xinwen Mining mainly constructs 6 million tons of indirect oil conversion and 1.2 million tons of olefins projects each year in Xinjiang, and an annual 4.5 million tons of direct oil conversion project in Yibei, with a total investment of 127.7 billion yuan.
It is understood that the large enterprise groups that have come to invest in Xinjiang have almost always issued hundreds of billions of billions of investment scales to the regional government. This total of trillions of dollars inflows into Xinjiang for coal resource development will inevitably bring Xinjiang first. The sharp increase in production capacity. According to the leaders of the autonomous region, as time goes on, the exhaustion of a large number of old coal bases in mainland China is further highlighted, and the dependence on Xinjiang coal will increase.
According to industry sources, after the recovery and development of coal companies in recent years, most companies have more funds, but as the share of resources and development in the Mainland is close to saturation, it is necessary to obtain higher quality and cheaper coal resources in the Mainland. Not too possible. Xinjiang, with its rich coal reserves and severely lagging development, has naturally become the target of the crowd.
“In-place conversion” mainly faces such a huge increase in production capacity. The first problem that needs to be solved in the coal industry in Xinjiang is the increase in demand. According to reports, the demand for coal in Xinjiang is concentrated in the heating period in winter. Currently, the supply and demand in Xinjiang's coal market is basically balanced, and the market price is much lower than in the mainland.
According to many reporters, the price of thermal coal in Xinjiang is currently around RMB 200/ton, and the sales price of the Shenhua Group's Xinjiang Company's Zhundong Open-pit Coal Mine is limited by the government of the Autonomous Region and does not exceed RMB 120 per ton. Even if the mainland market has already reached 2,000 yuan/ton of coking coal, it will be only 500 yuan/ton in the Xinjiang region. The reason is that the demand in Xinjiang is too small.
In the past two years, the country’s coal supply has been tight, and coal prices in the mainland and coastal areas have soared. Why is it not to transport coal from Xinjiang to all parts of the country to meet local demand? A very real problem lies in the constraints of transport bottlenecks.
The territory of Xinjiang is vast. There are more than two thousand kilometers between the north and the south. It is even further away from the use of coal in the interior. Xinjiang's coal must be transported to areas that are truly short of coal. Needless to say, there is a serious lack of transport capacity at present, and even if there is sufficient capacity, transportation costs and losses along the way are problems that coal companies have to consider.
In this context, the regional government proposed to convert coal and electricity into coal chemical and other forms, and then supply the development strategy of the mainland market through transmission lines or pipelines. According to statistics, by 2020, China’s installed generation capacity will exceed 1.6 billion kilowatts, and currently the country’s installed power generation capacity is only 600 million kilowatts, with 600 million kilowatts of the additional 1 billion kilowatts required to rely on thermal power, and the total annual coal demand will reach About 5 billion tons. In addition to Xinjiang, other places can only provide 3 billion to 3.5 billion tons of coal per year, which means that more than 1.5 billion tons of coal each year need to rely on Xinjiang and imports to solve. The government of the Autonomous Region hopes to convert this part of coal into local products and provide the finished products directly to the Mainland.
In an interview, the reporter learned that in addition to resolving bottlenecks in transport, the autonomous region’s government has proposed such a development strategy with its own considerations. “If the coal is shipped directly to the Mainland for sale, the local economy will not benefit much, and the recovery of coal after the development of the environment will require a lot of funds. The development of a coal-fired coal chemical industry in the local area and the introduction of a number of large-scale energy companies will drive the local economy. The growth has played a big role.” An official from the autonomous region told the reporter that when the government introduced large enterprises to develop coal resources in Xinjiang, it put forward on-site processing and conversion to them, increased the added value, and solved the requirements of local economic development.
Hidden Concerns: “Some Opinions of the State Council on Further Promoting Economic and Social Development in Xinjiang” (namely No. 32 of the State Council) has positioned Xinjiang as a strategic base for energy and resources. The government of the autonomous region hopes to vigorously develop coal and electricity in the region according to the statement in Circular 32. industry.
In the past two years, under the promotion of national policies and large amounts of funds, Xinjiang’s coal development and construction of coal-fired electric power bases have continued to accelerate, and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region government has also proposed to speed up the construction of four major coal-fired power plants, coal, coal, and coal in Qudong, Yili, Turpan and Kubai. Chemicals, coal coking bases, and 13 key mining areas such as Urumqi and Sandaoling have been planned to build 10 million tons of mines and 100 million tons of large-scale mining areas.
The increase in coal production laid a solid foundation for the next coal chemical industry in Xinjiang. During the “11th Five-Year Plan” period, Xinjiang will focus on the development of coal chemical industry in Zhundong, Yili, Kuche, Baicheng, etc.; focus on the development of coal-to-oil, coal-to-olefins and other industries in the Zhundong and Yili River valleys; The city focuses on the development of the coking coal industry; it develops a certain scale of coal chemical industry in Yiwu County and Karamay City.
Whether it is coal power, coal chemical industry or coking coal, it needs to consume large amounts of coal and water resources and pose a threat to the environment. The current development plan in Xinjiang, from large-scale coal mining to large-scale coal mining projects, is all testing the local environmental capacity.
Among the companies that have entered Xinjiang, Luan Group, Xinwen Group, Yankuang Group and Others have high hopes for the coal-to-oil project. According to incomplete statistics, at present, the planned coal-to-oil projects in Xinjiang have reached more than 30 million tons, and coal-to-methanol and olefins projects have also emerged in large numbers. However, coal-to-oil and coal-to-chemical projects tend to consume a great deal of water. According to statistics, a coal-to-oil project with a capacity of 1 million tons requires an investment of 10 billion yuan and consumes 5 million tons of coal and 10 million tons of water each year; Tons of methanol consume 9-10 tons of water. Wang Longjing, a senior engineer of Xinjiang Chemical Engineering Research Institute, said that the pollution of coal-to-oil projects is large, while water resources in Xinjiang are scarce and ecologically fragile. Xinjiang is not in favor of large-scale development of coal-to-oil.
In addition, the restriction of emission rights has also brought problems to Xinjiang's development of high-polluting industries such as coal chemical and coal coking. According to the National Development and Reform Commission's announcement on the completion of GDP per unit of GDP in 2007, Xinjiang’s energy consumption per unit of GDP in 2007 fell by only 3.08%, which is less than 4% of the target. According to the State Council's approval of the national total discharge control plan for major pollutants during the “11th Five-Year Plan” period, from 2005 to 2010, Xinjiang’s main pollutant emission reduction will increase by zero. However, the actual situation is that in 2007, the increase in chemical oxygen demand in Xinjiang was 0.4%, and the increase in sulfur dioxide emissions was 5.5%.

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