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China halts construction of 101 coal-fired power projects on power glut concerns

China's central government, through the National Energy Administration, suspended 101 coal-fired power projects, which equates to more than 100 GW of aggregate installed capacity, the Caixin media group reported this week.

The country's energy regulator issued notices to 11 provinces for the suspension of the coal projects to prevent the likelihood of a power glut amid concerns of mild demand for electricity this year. The projects had an estimated total investment of roughly 430 billion Chinese yuan, said the report.

"We expect growth in demand for electricity to be at 3% to 5% in 2017, putting an effective curb on the increase in the installed capacity of thermal power," Caixin quoted Wu Bohua, an analyst with Changjiang Securities, as stating in a Jan. 16 research note.

China aims to lower its coal-burning power to 55% of its total installed capacity from 59% in 2015. To be able to do this, 150 GW of previously planned new coal plants must be scrapped or postponed, said the report.

As of Jan. 18, US$1 was equivalent to 6.83 Chinese yuan.