Aug 20, 2021 09:52 PM

Chart of the Day: Wave of Mega-Mergers Creates New Coal King

China has a new top coal producer by revenue, ending China Energy Investment Corp.’s three year run as No. 1, as a wave of consolidation continues to shake up the vast state-dominated sector.

After merging with state-owned peer Yankuang Group, Shandong Energy Group Co. Ltd. reported total annual revenue of 675.2 billion yuan ($) in 2020. China Energy, which was created from the merger of two state-owned giants in 2017, took in 556.9 billion yuan.

Both Shandong Energy and China Energy operate coal mining and power generation projects, among other interests.

The China National Coal Association (CNCA), which released the ranking (link in Chinese) Tuesday, said that the total output of the country’s top eight coal producers reached 1.86 billion tons last year, accounting for 47.75% of the nation’s production, an increase of six percentage points from 2019.

According to the CNCA, in 2019 there were seven companies with over 100 million tons of annual output, making up about 39% of national production. The following year, there were just six companies that passed the 100 million ton threshold, and they made up over 43% of China’s total production.


In January 2018, China’s top economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, announced a plan to form a number of mega-miners by the end of 2020, each with an annual capacity to produce 100 million tons of coal.

Besides the Shandong province-based leader, the other major mergers last year mostly took place in the major coal producing region of Shanxi province, such as the merger involving Shanxi Coking Coal Energy Group Co. Ltd. and Datong Coal Mine Group Co. Ltd.

China has embarked on a program to overhaul its coal, steel and other commodity sectors over the last few years through a process of consolidation, often involving mergers of the biggest companies and closures of smaller, less-efficient ones. Many of those are state-owned enterprises, giving Beijing and local governments more leverage to drive such consolidation.

CNCA said in a June document that it will continue to promote the consolidation of the sector to build “large scale coal enterprise groups.”

Yang Ge contributed to this story

Contact reporter Manyun Zou ( and editor Joshua Dummer (

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