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Province gears up for power shortage
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Guangdong's provincial authorities yesterday presented a slew of measures to plug an expected power shortage this year, including the possibility of suspending electricity supplies to high-consumption industries.

The industries that may be affected include steel, cement, zinc smelting, caustic soda and ceramics, Li Xiangming, deputy director of the economic and trade commission of Guangdong province, said.

Li told a press conference that power supply to these sectors will be suspended if the electricity load gap exceeds 8 million kWh.

He said the province has introduced a three-tier contingency plan to prepare for the shortages.

The highest level, which involves switching off all neon lighting and lights for advertisements and at tourist attractions, will come into play if the electricity load gap widens to more than 15 million kWh.

"Supply to secondary and tertiary industries, such as manufacturing and construction, will also be reduced," Li said.

All government departments and related companies will also have to reduce their electricity consumption, he said.

Li said priority will be given to residential areas and public utilities and services, such as hospitals, schools, airports, railways stations, radio and TV stations, harbors and financial organizations.

Guangdong is expected to face its most serious power crisis since the late 1970s.

Li said he expects the province's electricity load gap to reach between 11 million and 12 million kWh during peak consumption periods this year.

Meanwhile, the heavy snowfall that has devastated the southern and central regions since January has worsened the province's power crisis.

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