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Heavy energy consumers shift operation hours
By Xiao Liang (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-06-09 22:38

Some 500 energy-consuming enterprises in Shanghai are expected to shift their operating times to later hours this summer due to shortages of power.

And local government departments, office buildings and large retail facilities may have to keep the temperature of their air conditioning systems at no lower than 26 C, which is believed to help save power.

Shanghai Municipal Economic Commission (SMEC) Deputy Director Wang Jian said these measures are expected to help make electricity supply meet demands this summer.

Despite a power shortfall which officials predicted in April as standing at 2 million kilowatts, senior officials Wednesday said the city could ensure that supply will roughly meet demand in the summer, a period of "seasonal power shortfalls" as they described.

"We think we can smoothly pass the peak summer days of power demand, and there won't be as critical a power supply situation as last year,'' said SMEC Deputy Director Le Jingpeng when addressing a press conference Wednesday.

The metropolis suffered severe power shortages last summer and winter, and there were even a small number of cases where industrial power in certain sectors was cut on a temporary basis.

According to Le, Shanghai's local power supply capacity will be adding over 1 million kilowatts this year compared to 2003, thanks to the installment of two generators in the city's northeastern Waigaoqiao area.

The city's total power generating capacity will then reach over 10 million kilowatts with the new increases. Shanghai's plan is to almost double that capacity by 2010.

Apart from the local supply, Shanghai has gained support from the State Power Grid and East China Power Grid as well as other areas in China, Le said.

Meanwhile, the scheduled completion of over 50 power transmission projects before the arrival of peak days of power use will further guarantee the safe operation of the local power grid.

Such power transmission undertakings are part of the city's over 20 billion yuan (US$2.4 billion) in projects currently under way in order to improve local power infrastructure.

While forecasts from meteorological experts are indicating that the weather this summer will be more favourable than last year, hopefully lessening pressure on Shanghai's power supply, other plans like artificial rainfall have also been arranged if needed.

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