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New Grid Plan Aims to Plug Power Gap
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China's largest power web builder is plugging a heap of grid extension plans to try and satisfy the country's surging demand for power.

The State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) plans to put a 750-kilovolt pilot transmission project into commercial operation in northwestern China within five months, to link the two provincial grids of Qinghai and Gansu, said SGCC sources on Friday.

"Construction (for the 750-kilovolt project) is expected to wrap up in October," an SGCC official said.

On completion, the project will be the highest voltage power transmission facility in China built at the highest altitude worldwide, said industry experts.

"Responding to the West China Development Program, the 750-kilovolt project plays a strategic part in transforming the rich energy resources of the western region into economic advantages," said Wang Xiaohui, an industry analyst with Beijing-based CITIC Securities.

As part of the company's goal to build an ultra high-voltage nationwide grid, another two 1,000-kilovolt lines for transmitting from Yulin of Shaanxi Province to Wuhai of Hubei and from Anhui's Huainan to Shanghai are also in progress.

Both projects are expected to be operational by the end of 2007, said sources.

SGCC has organized a think tank comprising experts from the country's major power research institutes and largest foreign industrial giants, such as ABB and Areva, to ensure the scheduled operation of the cutting-edge project, Areva sources said.

A feasibility study of the 1,200-kilometre Shaanxi-Hubei line will end by next month and construction will be started by the end of the year, sources from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said.

The Anhui-Shanghai project, for which research is expected to be completed by July, aims to ease the power supply crunch of the country's commercial hub through drawing upon the rich power resources fuelled by several power plants in east China's Anhui Province.

In the near future, 5,556 kilometers of power transmission lines of more than 220 kilovolts are expected to be operational before the summer peak hours for power supply.

Major cross-region transmission projects in the northwest, northeast and east China - to complete construction before this summer - will largely contribute to the grid builder's 2005 target to transmit 14.7 percent more electricity across different regions and provinces on a year-on-year basis.

The largest power supply gap within the company's grid range this year will reach up to 25 million kilowatts at peak hours, said SGCC's president Liu Zhenya in a work conference on Tuesday.

The grid builder has given priority to domestic electricity users, agricultural sectors and other major power consumers that affect the economy, said Liu.

It also vowed to secure power supply by advancing technology and management.

(China Daily May 28, 2005)

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