The Tom Farrell Institute was pleased to receive the distinguished visitor, Professor Mei Bai from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Professor Mei Bai is the Vice Director of the Energy Economics Centre at the Institute of Industrial Economics within the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Dr Mei Bai was introduced by University of Newcastle’s Dr Hao Tan. Dr Hao Tan’s current research interests are in the energy and resource transitions in China and their global implications from a strategic management perspective. Dr Mei Bai research interests are around the practical implications of transitions such as those facing the Chinese coal mining and steel industry.
China’s steelmaking capacity has increased significantly in the previous decade and now has over 50% of the world’s crude steel production.
China currently has significant over-capacity in Steelmaking with between 100 - 150 million tonnes annually to be curtailed – that’s about 18 times Australia’s annual production. This will displace approximately 1 million workers.
Dr Mei Bai was interested in the transition that Newcastle underwent with the closure of the BHP Steelworks in 1999, both for the Steelworkers and the region. The successful Newcastle transition could serve as a model for the impending transition for China’s steel industry and regions.
Mined Land Rehabilitation within Australia has evolved over time, with techniques, government policies and regulations providing a holistic approach to mine rehabilitation. Other countries, such as China, could benefit from interaction with Australian Mine Rehab policy makers, regulators, practitioners, and the Mine industry workforce. The annual Mine Rehabilitation conference by the Tom Farrell Institute may provide one avenue for this. Dr Mei Bai noted a number of her colleagues may be interested in pursuing this.
The Tom Farrell Institute looks forward to further collaboration with Professor Mei Bai and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.