Shenhua Group Corp., China`s biggest coal producer, is to invest 36 billion yuan ($5.3 billion) over the five years to expand coal production capacity in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, a company executive said last Saturday.

State-run China Daily reported on Monday, citing Shenhua's President Zhang Yuzhuo, that the company plans to increase its coal production capacity to more than 60 million tons in Xinjiang by 2014.

Shenhua's coal output capacity in Xinjiang was 16.8 million tons last year, 60.5% up from 10.47 million tons in 2005.

The money will also be used to facilitate coal conversion projects such as coal-to-oil projects, Zhang said.

Shenhua Group produced 281.25 million tons of coal nationwide in 2008, up 19.3% from a year earlier.

(1 yuan = $0.146321)