Guangdong still plagued by power shortages

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 May, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 May, 2007, 12:00am

Guangdong faced unexpected electricity shortages last month after predicting its power problems would ease this year.

A provincial economic and trade commission official said there was a power shortfall in April of more than 4 million kilowatts, a big increase compared with the forecast of 2.55 million to 3.69 million kW of unmet demand, Xinhua reported yesterday.

The official said the shortages were caused by the delay in production from new generating units, a shortage of water and fuel, and the closure of small power plants. It is the fifth year running Guangdong has experienced major shortages. Guangdong power grid company general manager Wu Zhouchun said in January the effects of the shortages would be mitigated this year.

Mr Wu said the provincial government would spend almost 20 billion yuan building power transmission infrastructure and generating units capable of outputting 8.98 million kW, which go into service this year.

Guangzhou is just one centre in the province with electricity problems. Due to persistent high temperatures, the city has issued several red alerts this month warning of power shortages, but officials declined to provide details.

'The [power shortage] throughout the whole province is more serious than in Guangzhou,' a Guangzhou Economic and Trade Commission official said.

'The electricity shortage is a sensitive issue. If I answer your questions, then all other media will come to ask me tomorrow.'

He said the provincial commission was the only agency allowed to provide detailed figures for Guangdong's 21 prefecture-level cities, including Guangzhou.

Guangzhou electricity authorities had said the year's peak load would be 9.5 million kW. The biggest shortage would be 400,000 to 600,000 kW.

Panyu Power Supply Bureau asked businesses in nine towns to stop production between 8am to 10pm in the middle of this month.

In reports on the problem yesterday, Xinhua said a lack of power and a lack of migrant workers were holding back the Pearl River Delta economy and some foreign investors had begun diverting their funds to other areas.

Production push

The provincial government is spending some 20 billion yuan on new power plants

The new generating units will have an output of (in kW) 8.98m