China to open energy to private investors
Beijing - China will seek to encourage more private investment in its state-dominated energy sector, according to a new industry white paper published by official news agency Xinhua on Wednesday.
China is preparing for a once-in-a-decade leadership transition in November, and its new leaders are widely expected to push for the sort of market-oriented reforms that will break up monopolies in sectors such as energy.
The new policy document said China planned to “give full play to the fundamental role of the market in allocating resources” and would draw up new regulations designed to reform the energy sector.
Included in the list of possible private investment targets were the exploration and development of energy resources, coal processing, oil refining, renewables, the construction of oil and natural gas pipelines and the electricity sector.
“All projects listed in the national energy program, except those forbidden by laws or regulations, are open to private capital,” the document said.
Policy makers have struggled to bring market forces to bear on the energy industry, with dominant state-owned enterprises like the State Grid Corp. proving resistant to change.
The white paper said China would also seek to improve legislation on, and regulation of, the industry, with plans to adopt a comprehensive new energy law and new provisions dealing with oil reserves, natural gas and nuclear reactor management.
While China is committed to raising the share of renewables in its overall energy mix to 15% by 2020, it said it would also promote the clean development of fossil fuels and improve power generation efficiency.