South China's Hainan Province is ready to turn itself into a national power-generating center, taking advantage of its rich resources of sea and natural gas.
The move which will benefit neighboring regions currently struggling under electricity shortages.
Local officials announced yesterday that they were drafting an ambitious plan to set up an oceanic gas generation base that would transform surplus gas-generated power into electricity for Guangdong Province.
"Hainan Province, which boasts a surplus in power, urgently needs to export the surplus power," said Zhou Xiaoyang, deputy-director of Hainan's Electric Power Research and Design Institute.
According to Zhou, the capacity of Hainan's major power grid is 1.55 million kilowatts, including 1.18 million kilowatts of thermal power and 370,000 kilowatts of hydropower, and could provide about 600,000 kilowatts of power to other provinces.
While in the neighboring Guangdong Province power consumption has kept rising and has greatly surpassed its power supply.
Transmitting power from an island province to a mainland destination is a contrast to the traditional notion of islands always being scarce of electricity, said Yue Hushan, who is in charge of power planning and development for Hainan Province, in an telephone interview.
Compared with other provinces and regions that the central government nominated as power export sources, Hainan proves to be the best candidate for transmitting extra power into Guangdong due to proximity and lower expense, experts said.
As a kind of clean energy, natural gas generation produces less pollution and is highly efficient.
The island province of Hainan has jurisdiction of more than 2 million square kilometers of sea area with over 10 trillion cubic meters of geological natural gas deposits, statistics indicated.
The volume of exploited and verified natural gas is 250 billion cubic meters in Hainan, accounting for 12 percent of the verified national deposit, said Wu Zhenfang, general manager of China National Offshore Oil Corp Chemical Co Ltd.
The annual exploitation of natural gas could reach 6.9 billion cubic meters in the near future, Wu said.
Apart from fertilizer and civil-use of the natural gas, the province could allocate 2.5 billion cubic meters to generate 8.1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year.
(China Daily February 13, 2003)