Power pinch prompts Hangzhou to pull plug

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 July, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 July, 2004, 12:00am

Hangzhou is the latest mainland city to feel the power squeeze, ordering some manufacturers to halt work during the day for four days a week to save electricity.

State media and company officials gave no estimates on the number of companies affected.

State media said the eastern province of Zhejiang had been the hardest hit by the energy crisis. Provincial capital Hangzhou is facing a power shortage of 1.3 million kW in peak periods in the next two weeks due to air-conditioner use.

Officials were allowing some companies, including foreign-invested firms, to close for just three days a week, the China Daily reported.

Foreign-invested companies that operated 24 hours a day and were located in economic zones could still run with a set electricity quota, it said, but gave no details.

Authorities had also ordered hotels, shopping centres and office buildings to cut their power consumption by half, while entertainment venues must turn off their air-conditioners in the evening.

Street lights and billboard lighting have also been switched off.