Commonwealth Edison

Plans More Coal UseCommonwealth Edison Co. said it will increase its coal consumption to 13 million tons a year by the year 2000, up from the 10 million tons it uses now.

Most of the additional coal will be low-sulfur product from Western mines

because of air quality restrictions on the use of Illinois coal, said Wallace B. Behnke Jr., Commonwealth's vice chairman. Illinois coal generally is higher in sulfur content than Western coal.

He told the American Mining Congress meeting in Chicago that the utility is still planning to add some power generation capacity in the 1990s.

He expressed hope that the new units will use atmospheric fluidized bed combustion and burn Illinois coal, if the technology has been successfully demonstrated at that time.

China Mine Explosion

Kills Women Workers

BEIJING - Twenty-one women were among 28 miners killed in a gas explosion in a northeast China mine defying a national policy banning women from working in mines, the official China Daily said Wednesday.

The daily, quoting an earlier report in China Women's News, said the accident occurred in February at the Qianjin mine, a collective operation in Heilongjiang province.

It was the first time that an accident involving women miners has been reported, the daily said.

Although there is no law banning women from working in mines, state-run mines have long observed a policy that women should not work underground. But it said smaller collective mines, which have sprung up in recent years under China's economic reform policies, have ignored the policy.