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Shenzhen Suggests Buying Power from HK

Shenzhen could buy electricity from Hong Kong to ease a severe power shortage, the Hong Kong Commercial Daily cited Mayor Li Hongzhong as saying Thursday.

Shenzhen faced an electricity shortage of 800,000 kilowatts this year, the city's economic cooperation and foreign trade bureau estimated. The situation would not improve significantly over the next three years, warned a bureau official.

Driven by rapid economic growth, the city's power consumption increased by 27.8 percent over the first quarter last year.

The municipal government has launched a series of measures to ease the power shortage. The measures, disclosed Wednesday, include raising temperatures of air conditioners in public places, cutting the lighting hours of street lamps and staggered power cuts during peak hours.

Until now, only areas outside the special zone have had power supplies limited, but this year the special zone would probably also have power cuts. Even the 100 major enterprises will not be exempt from staggered power cuts, as they formerly were.

Meanwhile, hotels, restaurants, office buildings, entertainment venues and department stores will have air-conditioned temperatures increased by one degree Celsius. This is expected to represent a significant saving as air conditioners consume more than 30 percent of Shenzhen's electricity.

Traffic authorities said they would turn off some street lights after 11 p.m. However, this has aroused some concerns about public security.

The city will limit the use of decorative neon lighting, shortening their illumination hours to holidays and to between 7:30 pm and 10 pm at weekends. This was expected to save about 1.5 million kwh, said a source with the city's urban management office.

Mayor Li Hongzhong has urged relevant government departments to discuss buying electricity from Hong Kong with Guangdong authorities and the operators of the south power grid.

(Shenzhen Daily April 16, 2004)

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