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Thirst for power could be quenched in 2006
By Zhang Lu (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-09-22 01:00

China's power supply will likely meet demands by 2006, said Zhao Xizheng, president of the State Grid Corporation of China, the country's largest power transmission and distribution firm.

"With the implementation of macro-control measures taken by the Chinese Government and the further increasing of power supply capacity, the situation of power shortages will probably be alleviated next year.

"The basic balance between supply and demand of power is expected to be reached in 2006," Zhao said at the World Industrial and Commercial Organizations Summit held on Monday in Beijing.

It is estimated that the country will have new power generators with an installed capacity of 42.8 million kilowatts in operation this year.

The newly-added installed capacity will be 60 million kilowatts in 2005 and 150 million kilowatts in 2006.

However, "the situation between power supply and demand will remain tense this winter and spring, due to fast economic growth, current power construction and other factors like weather," said Ma Zhizhong, spokesman for the State Grid Corporation of China at the company's press conference yesterday.

According to Ma, as weather is now becoming cooler around the country, loading capacity of the company's major grids began to fall and power supply problems were slightly eased.

Statistics show large-scale power shortages occurred in the country in the middle of the 1960s. In 1997, the balance of power supply and demand was realized for the first time.

However, the situation has become tense since 2000. This year, the problem grows more serious.

Twenty-four provincial grids have cut the switch and restricted power supply this year, as power demands increase drastically.

During the summer, power shortages in the State Grid's operated areas reached 29.83 million kilowatts.

The shortage for grids in North China, East China and Central China was 7.47 million kilowatts, 20.78 million kilowatts and 1.58 million kilowatts respectively, said Ma.

By the end of August, the company's 20 grids had cut the switch a total of 999,000 times, causing an electricity loss of 31.85 billion kilowatt-hours.

Despite the serious situation, the company has taken measures, like cross-region transmission and demand-side management, to basically ensure the stable and safe operation of the nation's grids and guarantee regular power supply around the country.

"Facing rapid increases in power demand and power generation, the company will further expand its grid construction, as well as complete the connection between provincial grids, to alleviate China's power shortage," Ma said.

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