China's State Council has appointed a number of key personnel as it pushes ahead with a sweeping overhaul of the country's power industry despite the disappearance of State Power Corp head Gao Yan, according to sources familiar with the situation. Sources at State Power said the appointments were mainly in newly set-up power transmission and distribution companies and in the proposed industry watchdog, the China Electricity Regulatory Commission. In April, the State Council said it aimed to complete major tasks related to the restructuring by the end of the year. State Power is China's biggest energy firm, holding 46 per cent of the country's 355-gigawatt installed capacity and with 400.3 billion yuan (about HK$376 billion) in sales last year. 'The government will announce some major progress over the next couple of weeks, which will show the reform is progressing well even without Gao Yan,' a source at an independent power producer said. Mr Gao, State Power's president, is believed to have fled China. Zhao Xizheng, a State Power vice-president since early 1997, had been named president of the provisionally named State Power Grid Co, a source said. The transmission company would manage the power grids of 26 provinces. Former Zhejiang governor Chai Songyue is to head the proposed China Electricity Regulatory Commission, which will take over regulation of the industry from the State Council. Beijing plans to form up to four power firms alongside China Huaneng Group to hold State Power's generation assets. Sources said Li Xiaopeng, son of National People's Congress chairman Li Peng, was expected to remain at the helm of China Huaneng Group. Confirmation of the younger Li's continued role in the industry - a key power base for his father - would be politically significant, analysts said. Mr Gao is a protege of Li Peng, leading to speculation that the investigation into the State Power chief reflected a political struggle ahead of next month's 16th Communist Party Congress. Goldman Sachs is understood to have advised Beijing on setting up the new regulatory body while HSBC advised on tariff reform.