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China Battles Crippling Power Shortages

Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan presided over a State Council meeting Sunday, to discuss the electricity shortage and called for greater efforts to improve power production and distribution, build more power plants and grids, and smooth the pricing mechanism, so as to meet power demands. 

Since June 2002, the country's power consumption has been increasing by an average 15 percent a month. Restrictions on electricity use have been launched in 21 provinces and autonomous regions, resulting in negative impacts on the local economy and people's lives.


The government has made great efforts to increase power supply by issuing a series of policies and measures. This year, a total of 29.65 million KW of power generating capacity has been added, while construction of a large number of new power generation projects have been started, with a total capacity of 30 million KW.


The meeting urged coal production companies and railway authorities to ensure transportation of coal for thermal power plants, the main producers of electricity in the country.


Power supply for residential use should be given top priority, while efforts should be made to restrict industries that are consuming too much electricity.


In his speech, Zeng called for active measures to ensure power supply for urban and rural residents during the forthcoming New Year and traditional Spring Festival holidays.


(Xinhua News Agency December 22, 2003)

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