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Rail Transport of Coal Grows at Slower Pace

By Bai Yujie and Han Wei / Jan 23, 2020 03:49 AM / Business & Tech

Growth of railway transportation of coal slowed to a three-year low in 2019 as nationwide coal consumption weakens, ending a rapid two-year expansion.

Data from the National Development and Reform Commission showed that the total amount of coal transported via railway was 2.46 billion tons last year, up 3.2% from the previous year. That compares with growth of 13.3% in 2017 and 10.3% in 2018 when the country started to shift coal transport from roads to railways to reduce emissions.

The slowing transport growth also reflected weaker demand for coal. Official data showed that power generated by coal-fired plants totaled 517 million kilowatt hours in 2019, up 1.9% from a year ago. The increase was 4.1 percentage points lower than in the previous year.

Experts predicted that China’s coal consumption will total between 4.1 billion tons and 4.2 billion tons this year, growing at a slower pace than a year ago.

Contact reporter Han Wei (

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