Government offices have been urged to take the lead and cut their electricity consumption as the worst power shortage in history grips China's southernmost island province, Hainan.
The provincial government released an emergency notice on Tuesday, explaining production has almost ceased at the two main hydroelectric power stations on the island due to the serious drought that has afflicted the island since the start of the year.
The local gas and coal power plants can not produce enough power for the entire province on their own, leaving Hainan short 390,000 kilowatts of electricity, and one million citizens feeling the brunt of the power shortage.
Deputy Secretary-General of the Hainan Provincial Government, Wang Yixin, issued a public apology for the power shortage on Tuesday. He said Hainan has been forced to introduce temporary electricity-saving measures, like an air conditioner ban in all party and government offices. The government has also introduced measures to conserve electricity during peak consumption periods.
Wang Yixin promised the government will work diligently to resolve the problem. In the meantime, it will introduce all possible measures to ensure local residents receive an adequate supply of power and minimize the impact on local businesses.
Hainan Province has been through its most rapid period of development in recent years and electricity consumption has increased by an average of 20 percent per annum.
The island plans to construct more power plants in the future to ease the pressure on its power supply, including solar, wind, coal, and hydroelectricity plants. Construction will also begin soon on a submarine cable power network.
(CRI March 22, 2007)