China builds plant to turn coal into oil

As oil prices continue to soar, China is moving ahead with a controversial process to turn its vast coal reserves into barrels of oil, Reuters reported on Thursday.
With oil at over US$120 a barrel, coal-to-liquid (CTL) technology is proving attractive in countries with large coal reserves, including the US, Australia, India. But it is opposed by environmentalists, who say it produces excessive greenhouse gases and consumes large amounts of water.
China is now building a major CTL complex in Erdos, Inner Mongolia, which will be run by the state-owned Shenhua Group.
The plant will start operating later this year, the report said, and is expected to convert 3.5 million tonnes of coal per year into 1 million tonnes of oil products such as diesel for cars.