SCIO press conference on ensuring energy supply and winter heating

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Mr. Lian Weiliang, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)

Mr. Zhang Jianhua, administrator of the National Energy Administration (NEA)

Mr. Zhang Zuqiang, deputy administrator of the China Meteorological Administration (CMA)


Shou Xiaoli, deputy director general of the Press Bureau of the State Council Information Office (SCIO) and spokesperson of the SCIO


Jan. 13, 2023

Shou Xiaoli:

Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. Welcome to this press conference held by the State Council Information Office (SCIO). Today, we have invited Mr. Lian Weiliang, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC); Mr. Zhang Jianhua, administrator of the National Energy Administration (NEA); and Mr. Zhang Zuqiang, deputy administrator of the China Meteorological Administration (CMA), to brief you on ensuring energy supply and winter heating. They will also take your questions.

Now, I will give the floor to Mr. Lian Weiliang.

Lian Weiliang:

Ladies and gentlemen, friends from the media, good afternoon. I would like to thank our friends from the media and all the other sectors of society for your interest in and support for our work on ensuring energy supply. Today, Mr. Zhang Jianhua from the NEA, Mr. Zhang Zuqiang from the CMA, and I are here to brief you on ensuring energy supply and winter heating. Please first allow me to introduce the current situation.

Since last year, the global energy supply and demand situation has been grave and complicated, especially with supply shortages and drastic price fluctuations. As China's economy has been deeply integrated into the global economy, domestic energy supply was inevitably affected by changes in international energy supply and demand and price fluctuations. As a result, we faced mounting difficulties and pressure in ensuring domestic energy supply.

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core attaches great importance to ensuring energy supply. The Central Economic Work Conference stressed strengthening regulation of supply and transportation of coal, electricity, petroleum, and gas to ensure a warm and safe winter for the people. The State Council has made specific deployments many times, calling on efforts to guarantee a stable economic performance, stable energy supply, and stable prices of electricity, gas, and other energy products for residents so that they can have a warm winter. This has been referred to as the “three guarantees.” The NDRC, the NEA, and other departments under the inter-ministerial coordination mechanism for ensuring supply and transportation of coal, electricity, petroleum, and gas have thoroughly implemented the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress and the requirements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, and achieved initial success in ensuring winter heating and energy supply. Overall, the supply of energy has been guaranteed, and prices are stable across the country.

First, significant progress has been achieved in increasing energy production and supply. With safety as the premise, we have worked to ensure stable production and sufficient supply of coal, keeping daily coal production above 12 million metric tons in the heating season. We have fully tapped the potential for increasing petroleum and gas production, raising natural gas production by more than 10 billion cubic meters throughout the year. We have continued to improve power supply capacity, increasing the installed capacity of various types of power generation by more than 200 million kilowatts.

Second, energy reserve capacity and the capacity of ensuring energy supply during peak periods have been significantly enhanced. We have continued to enhance the natural gas reserve capacity. China's gas reserve capacity have exceeded 32 billion cubic meters. We have stored as much gas as possible before the winter, with 20 billion cubic meters available at present. The coal reserve capacity has been greatly improved. Our government-deployable coal reserve stands at about 50 million metric tons, while coal storage in power plants remains at a high level of about 175 million metric tons.

Third, the supply and price stability of energy products for people's livelihood have been effectively guaranteed. We have prepared resources for energy supply in advance. We have signed medium and long-term contracts with all the suppliers of coal for power generation and heating, and with the suppliers of gas for people's livelihood. Contract performance and transportation capacity have continued to improve. We have maintained mid- and long-term contract prices of thermal coal within a reasonable range, strictly implemented government pricing for household use electricity, and ensured that households under the coverage of the pipeline network consume natural gas at gate-station prices. In this way, we have guaranteed the sufficient supply and price stability of products for people's livelihood.

Fourth, the energy demand for economic and social development has been met. During the current heating season, the average national daily dispatched power generation capacity is 23.62 billion kWh, and the maximum daily power generation capacity is 25.5 billion kWh. The overall power supply and demand of the whole society has been balanced. The average national daily gas consumption is 1.15 billion cubic meters, and the maximum daily gas consumption is 1.3 billion cubic meters. All these have provided a strong support for economic and social development.

Thanks to the joint efforts of all parties, we have effectively responded to previous cold waves during this winter and maintained a stable and orderly energy supply nationwide. This was due to the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee, which have proactively planned the building of energy production, supply, storage, and marketing systems in recent years to continuously improve China's energy supply capacity. We have also benefited from the strengths of the country's system , which creates synergy between an efficient market and a well-functioning government, and enable resolute actions to ensure energy supply for people's livelihood. Lastly, this success can also be attributed to our efforts based on China's realities to accelerate green and low-carbon energy transition, while making full use of coal and coal-fired power to avoid energy supply shortages. There are still more than two months until the end of the heating season, and more cold waves will arrive during the Spring Festival. Ensuring energy supply will continue to be a weighty task, and we must persevere in our efforts to deliver a solid performance in all areas of work.

First, we will continue to make efforts to increase energy production and supply. We will guide local governments and enterprises to well organize coal production during the Spring Festival holiday to ensure a stable supply. We will enhance electricity generation and supply capacity and keep domestic oil and gas fields operating safely at full capacity.

Second, we will strive to improve our capability to guarantee energy supply during peak periods. We will improve the comprehensive emergency distribution mechanism, featuring a complementary combination of coal, natural gas, and electricity. We will increase the output of thermal power generating units, improve hydropower distribution, and promote nuclear power, wind power, and photovoltaic power generation. Emphasis will be laid on response planning for power generation during peak periods and guaranteeing gas and coal resources used for power generation during peak periods.

Third, we will ensure energy supply in key regions. We will closely monitor heating companies' stockpiles in key regions, ratchet up railway transportation capacities, and carry out cross-provincial power distribution in a timely manner so as to ensure a safe and stable energy supply during key periods, including the Spring Festival.

Fourth, we will better organize resource imports. We will strive to stabilize the supply of imported natural gas and coordinate the management of underground gas storage facilities and LNG storage tanks to make sure that the gas supply for people's livelihoods will not be affected by fluctuating imports. Furthermore, we will secure coal imports to effectively supplement domestic supplies. 

Fifth, we will ensure people's basic energy needs are met. We will improve the electricity capacity management plan, enhance the emergency plan that prioritizes residential use of natural gas, and guide local governments to take joint actions with enterprises to activate the above-mentioned plans in an orderly manner. We will strengthen the monitoring of individual cases concerning heating and energy supply and quickly coordinate and handle problems to guarantee sufficient electricity and gas in order to meet people's living needs.

That's all for my introduction. Next, we would like to answer your questions. Thank you.

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