Senior government officials held an emergency teleconference on
Sunday to discuss the severe power disruptions caused by prolonged
snow, rain and cold weather.
Premier Wen Jiabao urged departments concerned to beef
up production of coal,electricity ,natural gas and oil products and
ensure the smooth transportation of the power products in a bid to
guarantee the power supply.
He asked state and local government-owned coal mines to enhance
output meanwhile make sure production safety. The production and
smooth transportation and sales of natural gas and oil products
should also be guaranteed to meet the need of residents and major
institutions, Wen stressed.
He noted key enterprises should take on the social
responsibilities and departments concerned should strengthen
Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan opened the conference by outlining
the paralysis of the power network over more than half of the
"So far, 17 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions
have suffered blackouts, and power grids in central China's Hubei,
Hunan provinces and south China's Guizhou and Guangdong provinces
have been seriously damaged," Zeng said.
Tens of thousands of passengers have been stuck on rail lines
after electric trains came to a standstill, said Zhang, adding that
conditions were worsened to a level that "had seriously affected
normal operation of the national economy and the people's lives and
Ma Kai, head of the National Development and
Reform Commission (NDRC), urged local governments to improve power
supply plans so that the electricity could be used as needed.
"In areas already hit by power shortages, high-polluting and
over-producing enterprises must have their power strictly limited,
and ordinary industrial enterprises should reduce their
consumption," Ma said.
"Power demands of homes, hospitals, schools, railways, TV and
radio broadcasters, financial systems and other work units
concerning the public interest and national security must take
priority," he said.
"Other areas should also take measures to save power to ease
power strains and balance supply and demand," he said.
Heavy snow since mid-January, the worst in 50 years in central,
eastern and southern areas, has affected tens of millions of
people, forced the relocation of hundreds of thousands, led to
power cuts, collapsed buildings, damaged crops and left thousands
of head of livestock dead.
"A 500-kv power tower in Guizhou Province collapsed under
mounting snow and the 220-kv transmission network has been largely
destroyed, resulting in blackouts in 41 cities and counties," said
Wang Yumin, deputy chairman of the State Electricity Regulatory
"By Jan. 26, there were still 18 500-kv electricity lines in
central China's power grid unable to work properly," Wang said,
urging departments to accelerate the repair work. Wang warned that
the low-voltage power network in some areas may face further
damages as snow continues.
China's most southern areas will suffer more rains and snows in
the following 10 days, with the precipitation concentrated in two
sections of time from Jan. 27 to 28 and from Jan. 31 to Feb. 1,
forecast the Central Meteorological Observatory on Sunday.
Railways Minister Liu Zhijun said his ministry had raised the
daily coal transport from the planned 34,000 rail trucks to 36,000
from Jan. 26, up 30 percent from a year ago, to help fuel power
The railways, which have reported record passenger numbers as
more turn to trains to go home in bad weather for the traditional
Spring Festival, managed to deliver 32,700 trucks of coal every day
in from Jan. 1 to 25, up 4,481 trucks or 300,000 tons from the same
period last year
Liu asked local railway departments to cooperate with coal
shipment companies to guarantee unlimited transport of coal for
power generation and household use.
Li Shenglin, Minister of Communications, ordered transport
companies in southern areas to halt delivery of coal for foreign
trade temporarily and recall vehicles to transport coal demanded by
domestic thermal power plants if needed.
(Xinhua News Agency January 28, 2008)