SHANGHAI – Coke producers in China's Shanxi province have been urged by authorities to resume full output in an effort to produce more coke oven gas, a provincial government official told Reuters on Thursday.
Coke oven gas is a by-product of coke production and oven gas can be treated and turned to liquefied natural gas (LNG) for residential use.
A total of 11 coke producers in cities including Taiyuan and Xiaoyi have so far been told to produce at full capacity, the official said. Some coke producers among the 11 had already started to ramp up to production in mid-December
The push to return to full production to secure LNG supplies in the province was contained in a document reviewed by Reuters dated December 26 and issued by the provincial Development & Reform Commission.
The official at the Shanxi Economic and Information Technology Commission confirmed the document had been issued. He declined to be named as he was not authorised to talk to media. The Development & Reform Commission was not immediately available to comment.
Coke producers were earlier ordered to curb production as Beijing had ordered steelmakers and coke producers in 28 cities to cut output to fend off winter smog.
Earlier this year Beijing ordered millions of households and industrial plants across northern China to switch to gas heating from coal this year as part of its war against air pollution.
But surging demand and inadequate storage and pipeline networks led to a severe supply crunch in many parts of China, forcing the government to put the ambitious project on hold.