Shenhua Group

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Shenhua Group Corporation Limited
State-owned enterprise
Industry Energy
Founded 1995; 22 years ago (1995)
Headquarters Beijing, China
Area served
Key people
Chairman: Dr. Zhang Yuzhuo
Products Coal, electricity, transportation (rail and ocean), polyethylene, polypropylene
Services Coal production, transportation, Electricity generation
Number of employees
Subsidiaries China Shenhua Energy
Website China Shenhua Website

Shenhua Group Corporation Limited (Chinese: 神华集团) is a leading state-owned mining and energy company in the People's Republic of China (PRC). Shenhua Group was founded in October 1995 under the auspices of the State Council of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest coal-producing company in China. In 2014 Shenhua Group produced 437 million tonnes of coal and sold 588 million tonnes of coal. In 2014, Shenhua Group’s revenue was 328.6 billion yuan (~US$53 billion), and the company ranked 196th in the Global Fortune 500. The same year the Shenhua Group’s profit was 64 billion yuan (~US$10 billion).


Shenhua Group is vertically integrated and, in addition to coal mining, the company also produces electricity from coal and renewable energy, operates railroads, ports, and seaborne shipments, produces polyethylene and polypropylene, and undertakes research, development, and demonstrations activities.

An electric locomotive operated by the Shenhua Group.

Coal mining and transportation[edit]

Shenhua Group is the largest coal producer in the PRC, operating both underground and open cut mines. In 2014, the company sold about 588 million tonnes of coal, the vast majority of which was mined by Shenhua subsidiaries.

Shenhua, like other coal producers in the PRC, is required to meet reclamation standards set by the government for its mining projects. In 2014, Shenhua invested a total of US$37 million in conservation of soil and water and environmental remediation. For example, afforestation areas were expanded by over 25,000,000 square meters in 2014.

Shenhua has recently highlighted its progress in implementing smart mining technologies to improve mining efficiency and safety.[1] In 2013 the company was awarded the World Coal Association Award for Leadership on Mining Safety.[2]

Shenhua also largely transports the coal it produces. For example, in 2014, the company transported coal on its railways at a rate of 224 billion tonnes·km. Shenhua also owns three ports and works with third party ports that were used to transport about 235.8 million tonnes of coal by sea in 2014.

Electricity generation[edit]

Shenhua’s total power output dispatch was 324.6 billion kWh in 2014, most of this electricity was generated using coal. The PRC’s standards for coal-fired power plants require emissions control technologies for particulate matter (PM), sulfur oxides (SOx), and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Therefore, emissions control equipment was necessary for all power plants operated by Shenhua. The company has completed the desulfurization (de-SOx) retrofits to all of its coal-fired power generators, and is in the process of adding controls to reduce NOx emissions. Shenhua Guohua, one of Shenhua Group’s largest electricity-generating subsidiaries, has implemented a program to achieve near-zero emissions at its coal fired power plants. In essence, the company has committed to emissions of PM, SOx, and NOx that are at or below the standards set for natural gas power plants.[3] The PRC standards for key areas are shown in the table below.

Particulate Matter (mg/Nm3) SO2 (mg/Nm3) NOx (mg/Nm3)
Limits for coal-fired power units (O2=6%) 20 50 100
Limits for gas turbines (O2=15%) 5 35 50
Shenhua Guohua target for coal-fired units (O2=6%) 5 35 50

Based on the PRC’s 12th Five-Year Plan, the proportion non-fossil installed electricity capacity in the country is being increased from 26.7% in 2010 to 33% in 2015. As a large electricity producer, Shenhua is also transitioning its energy mix. The company currently holds more than 5 GW of renewable energy capacity and is the PRC’s sixth largest producer of electricity from wind. Shenhua is also working to expand its renewable portfolio, with an announcement to possibly invest US$1.7 billion by the end of the decade to build wind farms in Australia.[4]

Fuels and chemicals production[edit]

Because of its relatively small oil and gas reserves, compared to coal, the PRC is a leader in coal conversion to liquid fuels, synthetic natural gas, and chemicals. Shenhua owns and operates facilities that convert coal to products through indirect coal liquefaction and direct coal liquefaction.

Shenhua’s direct liquefaction plant is the largest such facility in the world. In 2014 alone, the facility produced 900,000 tonnes of liquid fuels and products, including diesel, naphtha, and liquefied petroleum gas. Other than the energy security benefits of domestically produced synthetic diesel, the sulfur content is less than 1 ppm, which is much lower than the national standard of 10 ppm. Shenhua owns and operates three coal to olefins projects. The production capacity of these facilities is about 1.6 million tonnes per year. The company is also building the largest single unit coal to liquids project (4 million tonnes per year based on indirect coal liquefaction) in the Ningxia province. The facility is schedule to begin to operation in 2017.


Shenhua Group carries out significant research, development, demonstration, and commercialization of new technologies. In 2014, Shenhua’s research and development expenditures amounted to nearly . The focus of this research was throughout the entire energy life cycle chain, including environmental improvements for of coal mines as well as the initiation of a series of major projects, including heavy-haul railway technology.

Shenhua’s has several research projects related to the water-energy nexus. For example, the company has developed and demonstrated the concept of recycling and purifying mine water so that underground mines with distributed reservoirs can become net water producers and provide water to the surround community and industries and has been demonstrated at Shenhua’s Daliuta coal mine in the Shendong mining area.[5]

Both indirect and direct coal conversion are water-intensive processes that exist in water-scarce regions in the PRC. Therefore, Shenhua has extensive research and development focused on reducing the water consumption of these processes. To date, the direct coal liquefaction facility has decreased water consumption from 10 to 5.8 tonnes of water per tonne of product with additional focus being on water treatment and recycling. For the coal to olefin facility, water consumption has been decreased from 30 to 22 tonnes of water per tonne of olefin product.


The company has more than 30 subsidiaries, including:

  • Shenhua Shendong Coal Group Co., Ltd
  • Shenhua Railway Development Co., Ltd.
  • Shaanxi Guohua Jinjie Energy Co., Ltd.
  • Shenhua Trading Group Ltd.
  • Guangdong Guohua Yudean Taishan Power Co., Ltd.
  • Zhejiang Guohua Zheneng Power Generation Co., Ltd.
  • Shenhua Zhunge’er Energy Co., Ltd.
  • Shenhua Railway Transportation Co., Ltd.
  • Hebei Guohua Cangdong Power Co., Ltd.
  • Hebei Guohua Dingzhou Power Generation Co., Ltd.

Shenhua Group's subsidiary China Shenhua Energy Company is listed at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Shanghai Stock Exchange.



According to Greenpeace in July 2013 Shenhua Group has reduced groundwater levels in an Inner Mongolia region and discharged high levels of toxic wastewater.[6][7]

Australian mine[edit]

The group plans to build the A$1 billion Shenhua Watermark coal mine in the Liverpool Plains in New South Wales, Australia. The Liverpool Plains are primary agricultural land and the mine has sparked controversy within Australia.[8]


External links[edit]