Thursday, January 08, 2009

Emergency stockpile plan for coal, metal

CHINA, the world's fastest-growing major economy, will build emergency stockpiles of coal and metals such as copper and chrome under a long-term plan to guard against potential supply disruptions.

Government and commercial reserves of some rare coal grades and metals, including manganese and tungsten, will be set up, the Ministry of Land and Resources said on its Website yesterday.

China, the world's second-biggest energy consumer, will take advantage of lower prices to boost imports of oil and natural gas as reserves are being built, Zhang Guobao, head of the National Energy Administration, said last month. The nation's current strategic stockpiles of mineral resources are insufficient to fend off "global market risks," the ministry said yesterday.

China aims to find as much as 3.5 billion tons of "geological proven reserves" of crude oil between last year and 2010, the ministry said, citing its plan for resources development from last year until 2015. The incremental gas deposits found between last year and 2010 may be between 1.5 trillion and 1.8 trillion cubic meters and additional coal finds may be as much as 240 billion tons, the ministry said. Coal output may exceed 2.9 billion tons next year, while crude oil production may reach more than 190 million tons and gas more than 110 billion cubic meters.

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