China is set to relax security measures in the country’s coal mines amid the growing demand for coal due to the energy crisis. As a result, possible accidents will be investigated less extensively.
Authorities are also asking coal producers to ramp up production due to the power crisis.
The National Development and Reform Commission told miners that accidents would no longer lead to nearby mines being closed for safety inspections at a recent meeting. The move comes as Beijing calls on them to produce coal at full capacity for the rest of the year, even if quota limits are exceeded.
In the run-up to winter, a shortage of coal has pushed prices in China and worldwide to record highs. Due to the global economic recovery from the crisis, demand for fossil fuels has been strong this year. However, production was unable to keep pace with demand. This is partly due to stricter laws and safety inspections following a series of fatal accidents.
High coal prices have curtailed power production from coal-fired plants. Some power stations are closed for maintenance. Others, despite power shortages, are refusing to ramp up production because they are loss-making as a result of rapidly rising coal prices.