China plans to build two large coal-bed methane production bases in the northern coal-rich province of Shanxi, as the country seeks to increase gas use while curbing pollution and reducing heavy reliance on coal.
The two bases, one to be located in the Qinshui Basin and the other in the eastern Erdos Basin, each have a recoverable reserve of 1 trillion cubic meters, according to the Shanxi provincial development and reform commission, which has made environmental impact assessments public.
In the five years to 2020, China plans to newly add proven coal-bed methane reserves of 420 billion cubic meters and build two to three large coal-bed gas production bases. By 2020, the country's annual coal-bed methane output is expected to reach 24 billion cubic meters.
The two bases in Shanxi are major projects promoted by the National Energy Administration, with their outputs expected to reach a combined 8.3 billion cubic meters.
In 2020, Shanxi plans to raise its coal-bed gas output to 20 billion cubic meters and transport six billion cubic meters of gas from the two bases to other parts of the country through pipelines.
Coal represented 84.6 percent of Shanxi's energy mix in 2017 and local authorities plan to reduce the coal share to 80 percent in 2020 in a bid to fight pollution.