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Beijing Star-rated Hotels Not to Worry About Power Cuts

Star-rated hotels in this Chinese capital need not worry any longer about mandated power cuts during peak hours, as the municipal government has decided to cancel its plan for the cuts.

According to an urgent notice issued to the star-rated hotels by the Beijing Municipal Tourist Bureau on Monday, the municipal government has canceled a power cut plan of "2 hours on, 1 hour off" for air-conditioner operation in these hotels.

"However, the hotels must take other saving measures to reduce power consumption," says the notice.

For example, the hotels are advised to do laundry at night and keep air conditioners no lower than 26 degrees centigrade, and thehotel staff members are told not to take the elevator less than five stories.

The emergency plan for power consumption during peak hours, put forward just a week ago by the Beijing Municipal Development and Reform Commission, met with objections from tourism authorities and hotels, reported Tuesday's Beijing Times.

"Hotels are an important industry reflecting the image of a city and serve as a platform for international exchanges," they said, adding that mandated power cuts will bring losses to hotels,harm their image and even that of the capital, and cause a bad effect in the world.

Media reports about the power cut plan brought worries to overseas tourism agencies, according to the Beijing Municipal Tourist Bureau, citing a letter sent by the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong, saying that the measure may frustrate tourists' willingness to visit Beijing.

China may be facing the most severe situation of power shortage since the 1980s, with a gap of 30 million kilowatts between electricity demand and supply this summer, the State Power Grid Company has said.

Accelerating development of power-intensive machinery, auto, steel and manufacturing sectors, the growing pace of urbanization and low energy efficiency are blamed for China's extensive shortage of energy, according to General Manager Zhao Xizheng of the State Power Grid Company.

A total of 24 provincial areas imposed power brownouts in the past few months. China is now in the middle stage of the industrialization phase characterized by faster development of energy-extensive machinery, auto, iron and steel sectors, said Xu Dingming, a leading official with the Energy Bureau of the State Development and Reform Commission.

The Chinese capital used to be carefree about power supply, but may face a hard time this year, according to Beijing Vice Mayor Zhang Mao, saying that the city, which has 59 percent of its power supply coming from other parts of the country, might impose brownouts this summer as power shortage worsens nationwide.

"Beijing should also join the national conservation efforts andmay impose brownouts this year," he said. Enditem
(Xinhua News  Agency  July 7, 2004)

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