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China to Build 1st Offshore Wind Power Plant

China plans to build its first offshore wind power plant next year in its northern coastal province of Hebei, a local official has said.

The plant, with a designed capacity of 1 million kilowatts, will be established at the Huanghua Port in the city of Cangzhou by the Bohai Sea, said Gao Xihai, vice director of the management committee of the Huanghua Port Development Zone.

Involving an estimated investment of 9 billion yuan (US$1.1 billion), the wind power plant will be jointly built by the Guohua Energy Investment Co. and authorities in the development zone.

After a 4-month wind test in the coastal area of Cangzhou since April this year, the main investor Guohua was convinced that it is an ideal region for the establishment of a wind power plant, said Gao.

The first phase of the project, involving some 500 million yuan(US$61.7 million) in investment, is set to start in the third quarter of next year. In this phase, a plant with an initial installed generating capacity of 50,000 kw would be built.

Upon the completion of the whole project by 2020, the offshore wind power plant will help ease the power shortage haunting many parts of north China, local government sources said.

China is striving for balancing its electricity supply and demand, and is expecting certain power surplus by 2007, said Wang Yonggan, secretary-general of the Chinese Electricity Council on Monday.

China installed 50 million kilowatts of new power generating capacity in 2004 and will add 70 million kilowatts annually to the country's power grid over the next three years, according to Wang.

By 2007, China will have a total generating capacity of 650 million kilowatts, which would generally balance its supply and demand and may even lead to some surplus, said Wang.

As a result of the country's sustained, rapid economic growth, many cities and villages across China are still struggling with blackouts in the peak seasons of electricity consumption.

(Xinhua News Agency August 13, 2005)

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