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China's state grid vows to ensure supply amid power crunch

09/28/2021 | 07:06am EDT
A molten salt solar tower stands behind electricity pylons at a power station near Dunhuang

SHANGHAI (Reuters) -Amid an ongoing power crunch, China's state grid said on Tuesday it will ensure power supply to residents and make preparations ahead of national holidays in early October and winter.

It also said it would strengthen communications with the government to guarantee supply of thermal coal and closely monitoring the supply of coal, hydro and wind power.

China's northeastern industrial heartland is experiencing a severe power crunch due to a coal shortage, toughened emissions standards and strong demand from manufacturers and industry.

Thermal coal prices have soared to historic highs, trading on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange at levels up more than 50% since the start of September. Prices hit a fresh record high of 1,330 yuan ($205) per tonne on Tuesday.

The power shortage has halted traffic lights, elevators and mobile phone coverage in the northeast region, as well as triggering factory shutdowns, according to news organisations and social media posts on Tuesday.

It has also unnerved Chinese stock markets and led some analysts to downgrade their 2021 growth outlook for China.

China's state grid also said it would strictly control power consumption by high-energy consuming and polluting sectors.

(Reporting by Emily Chow; editing by Andrew Heavens and Jason Neely)

© Reuters 2021
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