BEIJING, June 10 (Xinhua) -- China, which is rich in coal but poor in
petroleum and gas, may put an end to projects which are designed to produce
petroleum by liquefying coal, an official with the country's top economic
planning agency has said.
The consideration came after evaluation of the nation's limited energy
resources and its econological environment, a deputy director of the industry
department of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) told a
seminar on China's fuel ethanol development, held in Beijing on Saturday.
"Liquefied coal projects consume a lot of energy, though the successful
industrialization of liquefied coal could help reduce the country's dependence
on petroleum," said the official who declined to be named.
The Chinese government said earlier it would invest more in developing
alternative energy resources including biomass fuel and liquefied coal to
substitute petroleum during the 11th Five-Year Program (2006-2010) period, amid
concerns over the country's growing dependence on petroleum.
China, the world's second-largest energy consumer, imported 162.87 million
tons of oil in 2006, driving the country's reliance on imported oil up 4.1
percentage points from a year earlier to reach 47 percent, official statistics
The country is also confronted with huge capital demand and higher
consumption of water and coal in producing the liquefied coal, the official
A project in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region with a designed
capacity of 1.08 million tons would need more than50 billion yuan (6.58 billion
U.S. dollars) of investment, according to him.
He said the country had begun the coal-liquefying projects without trial
industrialization operation, and the technologies involved were not
And both coal and petroleum are irreproducible energy resources, he said.
However, the country has never slackened its efforts to find substitutes
China said on Tuesday it has successfully excavated combustible ice--a kind
of natural gas hydrate--from below the floor of the South China Sea after nine
years of research in this field.
The Chinese government said recently it upheld the development of renewable
resources as an important national strategy, and would continue to boost the
development of hydro power, solar power, wind power, biomass fuel and methane.
The current seminar was hosted by Chinese Academy of Engineering with
sponsorship from Denmark-based Novozymes, the world's leader in enzymes and
microorganisms. Discussions focus on the industrialization of China's fuel