The State Grid Corp of China (SGCC), the country's largest power supplier, said it would invest 31.3 billion yuan ($4.58 billion) this year to upgrade its power grid.
This will be an increase of 30.1 percent over 2008. A significant chunk of the money would go for projects in Northwest China. About 13.9 billion yuan, accounting for 44.4 percent of the total amount, would go towards construction of 750-kV power grids in Northwest China, and connecting the major power grids there with local grids in the Xinjiang Uygur and Tibet autonomous regions.
Besides, the company also plans to start construction of 11,015-km of 110-kV and above 110-kV power transmission and substation lines, while 8,843 km of power lines will be put into operation within the year.
The company said it would also promote the construction and upgradation of rural and urban power grids. The investment is in line with government policies of expanding domestic demand and economic growth.
Experts said the construction of power grids could benefit industries such as metallurgy, building materials, electricity and machinery manufacturing, as it would promote investment, consumption and trade.
Industry data show that the construction of every 100 km of power lines of a 500-kV grid project consumed 5,000 tons of steel, 2,000 tons of aluminum and 7,000 cu m of cement.
By the end 2010, SGCC will complete 27 substations of 750-kV capacity in Northwest China. The total capacity of that would be 57.3 million kV, involving 12,420 km of 750-kV power lines.