Heihe City of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province has started importing electricity from the Far East area of Russia recently, to meet the increasing demand for power in the local raw materials industries.
This was the first time that China has imported electricity from Russia.
The city would import 15.4 billion kilowatt hours of electricity from Amurskaya of Russia in the next 10 years, to develop local industrial silicon, silicon carbide, graphite electrode, electrolytic copper and other high energy-consuming raw materials industries, said Su Zhenping, head of the management committee of the Heihe City Economic Cooperation Zone.
A total of 400 million kilowatt hours of electricity will be imported this year, and the import is expected to reach 500 million kilowatt hours in 2005, one billion and 1.5 billion kilowatt hours in 2006 and 2007 respectively. By 2008, the annual import will reach 2 billion kilowatt hours, according to a bilateral agreement signed in August last year. The agreement expires in 2013.
Su said the Russian side was active in electricity export and promised to initially charge 1.8 cents per kilowatt hour. With the expansion of electricity import, the charge is expected to drop gradually.
Materials provided by the Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Sciences show that currently Russia generates over 1 trillion kilowatt hours of electricity annually and most of its power stations are located in Siberia and the Far East areas, where output of electricity far exceeds demands.
With fast economic growth, especially that of the energy-consuming industries, in recent years, China's power consumption has increased rapidly, causing serious electricity shortages in the country. As a result, 21 provinces enforced blackouts in 2003 to prevent the grid from crashing.
Song Kui, a research fellow with the Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Sciences, said that importing electricity from neighboring countries was expected to be an effective way to solve the power crisis in China and was conducive to the development of both countries.
(Xinhua News Agency May 6, 2004)