China added 38.4GW of new coal-fired power capacity in 2020 – more than three times the amount built elsewhere around the world
China is the largest coal-producing country and is home to some of the biggest power plants on the planet.
Although the nation, which is the world’s largest emitter, has increased its climate efforts in recent years, it has come under fire for continuing to expand its already sizeable coal fleet.
All over the world, the mineral is becoming less popular as countries look to renewables as a clean alternative, with a handful of developed nations tying themselves to phase-out deadlines for getting rid of the fossil fuel altogether.
But, despite putting plans in place in September 2020 to reach carbon neutrality before 2060, China added 38.4 gigawatts (GW) of new coal-fired power capacity last year – more than three times the amount built elsewhere around the world.
Here, NS Energy profiles the five largest coal power plants in China.
Five largest coal power plants in China
1. Datang Tuoketuo power station – 6.7GW
The 6.7GW Datang Tuoketuo power station is located in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, and is the biggest of its kind in the world.
Initially, the coal-based power station comprised eight 600-megawatt (MW) units commissioned between 2003 and 2006 before, in 2011, two additional 300MW units were installed to increase the production.
In 2017, the plant’s capacity was again increased with the addition of another two units with a combined capacity of 1,320MW.
The fuel is sourced from the Junggar Coalfield located 50km away from the plant.
2. Waigaoqiao Power Station – 5.1GW
Owned and operated by Shanghai Electric Power Company, a subsidiary of the state-run China Power Investment Corporation (CPIC), the 5.1GW Waigaoqiao Power Station is located in the Pudong New Area of Shanghai.
Commissioned in three phases between 1994 and 2008, the plant features four 300MW subcritical, two 900MW supercritical and two 1,000MW ultra-supercritical generating units.
Fuel for the power plant is sourced from the Shenfu Dongshen coal field located in Inner Mongolia.
3. Guodian Beilun Power Station – 5GW
Located in the Beilun District of Ningbo City in Zhejiang Province, China, the 5GW coal-fired Guodian Beilun Power Station is owned and operated by Guodian Zhejiang Beilun Power Generation Company, a subsidiary of the state-owned China Guodian Corporation.
As the eighth-largest power plant in the world, it features five 600MW subcritical units and two 1,000MW ultra-supercritical generating units.
With a designed annual generation capacity of about 27,000 kilowatts-hours (kWh), the power produced by the plant is connected to the East China Power Grid through two 500KV transmission lines.
4. Jiaxing Power Station – 5GW
The state-owned Jiaxing Power Station is operated by the Zhejiang Energy Group and also has a capacity of 5GW.
The facility is located about 90km east of Shanghai in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province – one of the most developed regions in China, where there is high electricity demand.
The $15.8bn plant consists of two 300MW sub-critical units, four 600MW super-critical units and two 1000MW ultra-supercritical units.
5. Guohua Taishan Power Station – 5GW
Guohua Taishan Power Station is a coal-fired power station based in Jiangmen, Guangdong province, and is owned by Guangdong Guohua Yuedian Taishan Power Company.
With a 5GW capacity, it has five 600MW and two 1000MW units, which were brought online between 2003 and 2011.
The plant’s owner previously put forward plans for two additional 1000MW units, but there have been no developments on the proposals since 2011.