China's largest state-owned investment firm, the State Development and Investment Corp (SDIC), will invest 30 billion yuan ($4.71 billion) in shale gas and coal in the city of Chongqing.
As part of a joint venture with the Chongqing government, SDIC will use part of the funds to build a coal port, set up an emergency coal reserve stockpile and develop shale gas projects.
Inspired by a shale boom in the United States, China has launched its own shale gas push since 2009 and aims to produce 6.5 billion cubic metres (bcm) of the gas by the end of 2015 before a leap in production to 60-100 bcm by 2020.
Government departments are also working to roll out beneficial policies, such as tax and fiscal incentives, to encourage shale gas development, Xinhua said, citing the head of the National Energy Administration Liu Tienan.
China is believed to have the world's largest deposits of shale gas, with an estimated 1,275 trillion cubic feet, or 36 trillion cubic meters of technically recoverable shale-gas reserves.
Apart from a deal between Royal Dutch Shell and China National Petroleum Corporation to develop a shale gas block in the southwestern province of Sichuan, Beijing has excluded foreign firms from bidding in its second tender for shale gas blocks. ($1 = 6.3633 Chinese yuan).