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Power Shortage Causes Blackouts Nationwide
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Twenty-one Chinese provincial power grids have been obliged to impose blackouts since this January as a result of the surging demand for power caused by the cold winter and rapid economic growth, the State Grid Corporation said Friday. 


Liu Zhenya, general manager of the corporation, said at an on-going work conference that the power load has grown since the winter set in, with the peak generating capacity up to more than 6. 4 billion kwh per day, a year-on-year rise of 15.1 percent.


Three regional power grids, covering China's north, northeast and northwest areas, together with 14 provincial power grids, reported the peak power consumption loads in history, Liu said.


The gap between the power supply and demand will face further threats in winter from the lower generation of both hydropower and thermal power, because of the shortage of rainfall and coal, he acknowledged.


He said the corporation has mapped out specific measures to ease the problem and to ensure power supply during the traditional Spring Festival, China's lunar new year for family reunion.


Special checks of power generation security will be launched to guarantee sufficient power for common residents' daily life, government departments, hospitals, media groups, transportation, mines and other important customers.


The corporation will rely on cross-regional power transfer to balance supplies in different areas and direct industrial users to ward off peak consumption times.


China's consumption of electric power is forecast to reach 2, 425 billion kwh in 2005, and power shortage will stay above 20 million kilowatts in summer.


The corporation is planning to develop an extra-high-voltage power transmission network, which will carry the power from the west to the energy-thirsty east at much lower costs in transportation and environment, Liu said.


(Xinhua News Agency January 23, 2005)

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