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Power supply for summer peak complicated
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China is mobilizing forces nationwide to meet power demands during the summer peak season, as reconstruction work goes on in the quake zone and Olympics approaches.

Since the May 12 earthquake that devastated the southwest Sichuan and some neighboring provinces, the country had vowed to ensure power supply in quake regions to back the rescue and reconstruction work.

The State Grid said it would not only cut power transmissions from Sichuan to power-thirsty coastal provinces, but also organize provinces in central and eastern China to transmit more electricity to the quake-hit province.

Lu Jian, a State Grid official, said the company had adjusted an overhaul plan of power-generating units in Henan. This was expected to increase the province's power transmission capacity to Sichuan by 300,000 kw to 500,000 kw.

The company expected to finish the rush repair on quake-damaged power facilities in Sichuan before June 10.

On Thursday, loads of the power grids in Sichuan had been restored to the pre-quake level and had reached 13.21 million kw., which was 15 percent more than the daily maximum load of last year.

The country was also hit by inadequate coal reserves for power supply. Power coal reserves are below the alarming seven-day level in Hebei, Anhui, Hunan and Hainan provinces.

More than 62 power plants across the country, with an output capacity of 61.86 million kw, have less than three days of coal reserves.

In the region neighbouring Beijing, where the Olympic Games is to be held in August, power coal reserves stood at less than 1 million tons, only enough for six days of use.

The State Council, China's Cabinet, had ordered coal-producing provinces to run at full capacity on the premise of safety to increase coal output. Small coal mines that had closed were asked to put things right as soon as possible and resume production once being qualified.

The country had about 44.44 million tons of power coal in reserve as of Monday at power plants with an annual output above 100,000 kw, which is adequate for about 11 days of use, according to statistics provided by the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC).

The country's power giants, including China Huadian Corporation, China Guodian Corporation and China Power Investment Corporation, had been asked to ensure a reliable supply "regardless of cost."

Guangdong was the only province to suffer brownouts that equaled to 195,000 kw on Tuesday; other provinces were able to meet power demands.

The State Grid and SERC officials also stressed consumers should be thrifty in power use, and modify their use according to the country's output so as to achieve the supply-demand balance this summer.

(Xinhua News Agency June 8, 2008)

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