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Gas supply cut off due to shortage
(China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-14 06:20

Gas supplies are being cut to households and catering outlets in some Chinese regions because of the huge leap in demand in winter,

More than seven cities in Central China's Henan Province have reduced the natural gas supply to urban dwellers because of a shortage, the Shanghai-based China Business News reported yesterday.

In the provincial capital of Zhengzhou, the supply can only meet two-thirds of the daily demand of its 600,000 users, it added.

The cities of Puyang, Anyang, Kaifeng, Hebi, Jiaozuo and Luohe in the energy-rich province are also suffering similar problems, the paper said.

It quoted Yan Guoqi, president of Zhengzhou Gas Co Ltd, as saying that the gas need in the provincial capital has jumped to 1.6 million cubic metres a day in winter tripling the consumption in summer.

He said his firm could only provide 1.1 million cubic metres each day.

Since the start of winter more than a month ago, some people in Zhengzhou a city with more than 2 million residents have not been able to cook meals on their gas cookers, said Guo Jun, a professor at the Henan University of Finance and Economics told China Daily yesterday.

Guo said it was because of the failure of Zhengzhou Gas Co Ltd in predicting and meeting the real need of its users, and also the government's incompetence in dealing with emergencies.

"They just did not pay much attention to the lives of the people, and the government has not offered proper solutions," said a furious Guo.

He added that the gas company and the government have failed to respond to the growing demands of residents in Zhengzhou since 2001, when the 10th Five-Year Plan (2001-05) started.

Yan said he expected the city to face a shortage of 60 million cubic metres out of the total gas consumption of 300 million cubic metres during winter.

In accordance to relevant contracts, PetroChina Co Ltd plans to supply 154 million cubic metres of gas while the Zhongyuan Oilfield of China Petroleum & Chemical Corp promises to offer 94 million cubic metres to the city, he added.

According to Zhengzhou-based Dahe Daily, Song Jinhui, general manager of Zhengzhou Gas Co Ltd, said his company had been forced to buy in gas at a higher price from Zhengzhou Henran Co of the PetroChina Co Ltd and the Jincheng Coal Co in North China's Shanxi Province to ease the shortage.

In Puyang County, under the city of Puyang, where the Zhongyuan Oilfield is located, gas supplies have struggled to reach cookers in 13,000 households since December 5.

It means users cannot ignite their cookers, or supplies only last for about one hour at a time, the China Business News said.

An official from Zhongyuan Oilfield has promised to increase production to meet the increasing demand, the paper said.

Meanwhile, Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, and Chongqing Municipality, bordering Sichuan are facing gas shortages, local media reported.

(China Daily 12/14/2005 page3)

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