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Power sector generates mixed results

CHINA'S coal-fired power plants made a profit of 1.34 billion yuan (US$196 million) in the first two months of this year, down 32.6 percent from a year earlier, the National Development and Reform Commission said yesterday.

But power suppliers, or grid operators who control both power transmission and distribution networks, lost 2.46 billion yuan in the two months, versus a profit of 5.64 billion yuan a year earlier, the NDRC said in a release on its Website.

It did not provide any explanation for the declines.

Chinese power generating firms, which on average rely on coal-fired power plants for 80 percent of production, have warned of or reported losses for 2008 due to a sustained increase in coal costs.

China Power Investment Corp, one of the nation's five major state-owned power generating groups, suffered a loss of 300 million yuan to 400 million yuan a month in January and February despite declining coal prices, a company executive had said.

Power firms had refused to sign any deals in the annual talks in December with coal miners who asked for higher coal prices due to rising production costs and a tax increase.


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