The China National Coal Association is the hose of the China Coal and Mining Expo taking place Oct. 28-31 in Beijing.

Commerce Announces Coal Mining Trade Mission to China, Mongolia

The Oct. 23-28 executive-led mission will include individual and government meetings to boost exports to an industry on which China will spend billions of dollars in the next five years to improve safety, according to the department.

Saying China is proceeding to spend billions of dollars in the next five years to improve safety in its 10,000-plus coal mines, the Commerce Department's International Trade Administration, U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service is organizing an executive-led trade mission to China and Mongolia for at least 15 U.S. companies that manufacture or distribute mining and mining safety equipment.

The department's June 7 notice says China is the world's largest coal producer, with about 45 percent of the world's total annual production and expected production this year of 4 billion tons. Coal accounts for 65 to 70 percent of China's primary energy supply, and its demand for coal is expected to rise by 3.2 percent annually through 2030. While about 90 percent of the coal mining equipment used in China is produced domestically, "Chinese companies are still behind technologically in mining equipment production," and the country's desire to both boost the safety of its mines and to lower greenhouse gas emissions from coal burning create opportunities for U.S. manufacturers, it states.

"U.S. companies enjoy their greatest competitive advantage in supplying heavy coal mining machines and systems. For underground mining operations, U.S. firms compete well in the following categories: long-wall shearers, stage-loaders, continuous miners, batch haulage vehicles, road headers, hydraulic roof support systems and conveyor systems. For open-pit mining, U.S. firms' best opportunities include electric mining shovels, walking draglines, blast hole drills, and heavy mining trucks," the notice says.

As for coal mine safety, China's government requires all coal mine sites to install a complete safety system, "which includes a monitoring system, life shelters, communications system, personnel positioning system, and ventilation and water system," and the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety Supervision has said China is aggressively purchasing safety equipment for large state-owned coal mines. "This creates significant opportunities for foreign companies to export coal-mine safety equipment to China," the notice states. "Best prospects also include gas control systems and fire and gas monitoring and control equipment. The industry will see continued consolidation and a push toward bigger, safer and more modern mines. This is part of the overall policy goal of increasing efficiency, safety and reducing waste." It cites current mining revenues for Mongolia and says Mongolia's estimated coal reserves are 100 billion metric tons.

The trade mission will begin Oct. 23 in Mongolia's capital of Ulaanbaatar and continue in two cities in China, Xi'an and Beijing, concluding at the China Coal and Mining Expo taking place Oct. 28-31 in Beijing.

Companies selected to participate in the mission must pay a participation fee ($6,245 for large firms, $5,475 for firms with no more than 500 employees) to the Department of Commerce to participate in the entire mission. The fees are lower for visiting one country only.

Applicants must certify that the products and services they seek to export through the mission are either produced in the United States or, if not, marketed under the name of a U.S. firm and have at least 51 percent U.S. content of the value of the finished product or service. Recruitment for the mission begins immediately and will end Aug. 12 unless Commerce extends it. For information, contact Louis Quay, International Trade Specialist at U.S. Commercial Service headquarters, at 202-482-3973 or louis.quay@trade.gov, or Andrew Billard, U.S. Commercial Service Beijing, 86-10-8531-3589 or andrew.billard@trade.gov.

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