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Most Chinese provinces suffer electricity blackouts in 2003
Updated: 2004-02-10 10:42

Twenty-two provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in the Chinese mainland suffered electricity blackouts caused by electrical power shortages in 2003, ten more than 2002, sources with the China Electricity Council show.

China's electricity consumption reached 1,891 billion kilowatt-hours in 2003, up 15.4 percent over 2002, a record growth since 1978. Meanwhile, the total electricity generating capacity increased by 7.8 percent, 7.6 percentage points behind the consumption growth rate.

The high-speed consumption growth was partially due to the rapid growth of China's steel, building materials, non-ferrous metal and chemical industry, which heavily increased electricity demand, said Wang Yonggan, secretary-general of the council.

China's electricity output reached 1,908 billion kilowatt-hoursin 2003, up 15.3 percent over 2002, including 283 billion kilowatt-hours of hydroelectricity and 1,580 billion kilowatt-hours of thermal power.

Last summer many Chinese cities had to implement blackouts to shrink the electricity consumption, especially in the booming coastal areas.

Experts said dry spells, shortage of electrical generators and the country's high-gear economic growth are the main three reasonswhy China suffered large-scale power shortages in 2003.

The council forecast that the electricity strain would linger throughout 2004, and the lacking electricity volume would be almost the same as that in 2003.

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