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Shenhua to Build Asia’s Biggest Thermal Power Plant, Xinhua Says

Shenhua Group Corp. plans to build Asia’s biggest coal-fired power plant in China’s southern province of Guangxi to help reduce electricity shortages in the region, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The parent of Hong Kong-listed China Shenhua Energy Co. signed an agreement with the local government to build an 8-gigawatt plant at the port city of Beihai, Xinhua said in the report today, without citing anyone. Construction will take about five years, it said.

China, the world’s biggest polluter, relies on coal to generate about 80 percent of its electricity. The plan to build the thermal station in Guangxi comes after the province suffered power shortages in recent years because drought reduced supply from hydroelectric plants.

The coastal province has deep ports that will allow ships to deliver coal to the plant, Xinhua reported, citing Shenhua Chairman Zhang Xiwu. Guangxi will need to build docks to receive coal delivered from Shenhua’s mines in Indonesia and Australia, Xinhua said, citing Zhang.

Shenhua is China’s biggest coal producer.

China, the fastest-growing major economy, produces more greenhouse gases blamed for global warming than any other nation. The government wants to cut carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 17 percent per unit of gross domestic product in the five years through 2015, Premier Wen Jiabao said Feb. 27.

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