18 Aug 2009 13:57

Construction begins on three coal railway lines at Xinjiang's Zhundong Basin

Shanghai. August 18. INTERFAX-CHINA - Construction has begun on three railway lines that will deliver coal from the Zhundong Basin in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, a local government official told Interfax on Aug. 18.

The railway lines will run 27.5 kilometers east out of Zhundong Basin's Wucaiwan Chemical Industry Park, where they will link up with the main lines of other railways to deliver coal to eastern China, an official from the Wucaiwan Chemical Industry Park, surnamed Xu, said.

"When up and running in 2010, the three railway lines will be able to transport 80 million tons of coal from the Wucaiwan Chemical Industrial Park each year," he said.

Shenhua Group Corp., China's largest coal producer, and a logistics firm, Shunfeng (China) Co. Ltd., have jointly invested in the project, which is expected to cost RMB 1.1 billion ($161.05 million), Xu said.

The Wucaiwan region has about 50 billion tons of the Zhundong Basin's 390 billion tons of coal reserves, according to a local government estimate. The basin is Xinjiang's western coal production base.

Xinjiang itself has so far discovered 2.19 trillion tons of coal reserves, accounting for about 40 percent of China's total. The region's annual coal output is expected to top 1 billion tons by 2020, accounting for more than 20 percent of the country's total.