Chinese coal companies reportedly interested in West Coast

12:49 pm on 11 January 2011

Chinese coal companies reportedly want to invest on the West Coast to help it recover from the Pike River disaster.

Plans are already in place for a group to visit the Coast for safety training in the next few months.

Former British mines inspector Dave Feickert has been advising the Chinese Government in Beijing for five years on making their coal mines safer.

He says the Chinese are very aware of the Pike River explosions and the effect on the West Coast community, and want to help.

Mr Feickert says he has arranged for up to 15 Chinese mine managers to do a safety training programme on the Coast and he expects the contacts to have many benefits for the region.

He says Chinese companies have invested about $US20 billion in overseas coal operations over the past three years and now appear to be turning their interest to New Zealand.