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China encourages further private energy investment

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BEIJING, June 20 (Xinhua) -- China will further encourage private investment in the energy sector to boost the restructuring and future development of the industry, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said Wednesday.

China will open all energy sectors listed in the national energy plan, except those prohibited by law, to private investors, and they are encouraged to participate in China's key energy projects, according to a guideline that supports private investment in the sector.

Detailed rules should be established and implemented to create a favorable environment for private investors and ensure their justified rights in energy exploitation and development, said the NEA document.

The new guideline allows eligible private enterprises to take up development projects for large-scale coal mines, as well as unconventional oil and gas resources like coal-bed methane, shale gas and oil shale.

No discriminatory restrictions should be set to limit private investment in hydropower and wind power development, it said.

China will further support private investment in energy exploration, coal processing, oil refining, network development of petroleum and natural gas and electric power construction, and give private capital full access to the new energy and renewable energy sectors.

All funding sources, including international financial organizations and foreign government loans, should treat private investors equally, said the document.

Currently, about 40 percent of China's coal mines are privately owned, while private investors own 26 percent of the country's installed hydropower capacity and 18 percent of its oil refining capacity. They have also played an important role in new energy development, such as the development of solar power, wind power and biomass energy.

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