August 31, 2017 / 4:25 AM / 3 months ago

China plans safety inspections at coal mines, chemical plants

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s cabinet said the government will launch nationwide safety inspections of coal mines, chemical plants, gas operators and logistics firms, starting in September.

The new round of inspections comes after an environmental crackdown in August roiled commodities markets, while safety inspections in major coal producing regions have crimped supplies, fuelling a price rally.

“It is a top priority for us to give coal mines thorough checks. Hazardous chemical producers, city gas operators as well as fireworks manufactures will also be our list for the inspections,” cabinet said in a statement on Wednesday on the website of China’s work safety administration.

A fire earlier this month at a large refinery in Dalian run by oil major PetroChina fueled public concerns about safety standards in the oil industry.

China’s coal production in July fell to the lowest level since October, reflecting the impact of a crackdown on illegal mining and efforts to reduce pollution.

Reporting by Meng Meng and Josephine Mason; Editing by Richard Pullin

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