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Power shortages in Anhui as coal supplies dwindle

  • 14 years ago (2010-05-31)
  • David Flin
Asia 855 North America 1002

Dwindling coal supplies have prompted eastern China’s Anhui province to activate an emergency plan ahead of schedule, limiting electricity use by more than 5000 local enterprises at peak times to ensure that there is no disruption to domestic supply.

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Du Guihe, Chief Engineer at the Anhui Power Company, said that the province’s power shortage may exceed 1000 MW this summer, as some plants have only three days of coal inventory, compared with the danger line of seven days. The usual benchmark for thermal coal inventory at Chinese coal-fired plants is set at 15 days of supply.

Under the emergency plan, 5,600 enterprises are required to avoid power use at peak times while power-use caps have been imposed on another 300 companies, according to Du. He did not say when the emergency measures will be lifted. He said that ensuring electricity supply during the summer will be a challenge as insufficient coal inventory, transport glitches, adverse weather and higher prices might aggravate the situation and cause inventory to fall even further. Du said that the shortfall could be cut to 600 MW if power is imported from other provinces.

According to Anhui Power’s projections, the province’s maximum power load in summer may reach 18.3 GW, up 15 per cent from last year. However, local installed power generation capacity is only 17.45 GW.