China's first submarine power cable will be laid through the Qiongzhou Straits this year, connecting the provincial grids of Guangdong and the southernmost Hainan Island, a China Southern Power Grid (CSG) spokesman said.
"Initial construction started early last year, but the substantial part of the project will be constructed this year at a cost of 2.1 billion yuan (US$280 million)," the spokesman said.
A 34.7 kilometer benthal cable and a 144 km trolley wire will be constructed to link the Gangcheng transformer substation in Guangdong's Zhanjiang City and the Fushan transformer substation in Hainan's Chengmai County with a 500 kilovolts alternating current grid.
With a transmission capacity of 600,000 kilowatts, the new grid will ensure a safer and more stable power supply for Hainan, thus boosting the island's economic development, the spokesman said.
When completed in the first half of 2009, the submarine power cable is expected to be the longest of its kind in the world.
In the past three years, CSG has invested 4 billion yuan in the Hainan power grid to upgrade facilities. The maximum power load has increased 40 percent annually since 2004 when Hainan power grid joined CSG.
The state-owned China Southern Power Grid covers the southern provinces of Guangdong, Yunnan, Guizhou and Hainan and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, servicing about 230 million people.
(Xinhua News Agency February 13, 2008)