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February 18, 2012

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City facing 2GW power shortfall

SHANGHAI faces a power shortage of up to 2 gigawatts this summer - about 7 percent of its peak demand, government officials said, as the city works on securing more supplies from other regions.

The maximum power load is expected to reach 28.5GW-29GW during summer, when sweltering residents crank up their air conditioning.

This would be up 11 percent on last year, Zhou Minhao, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology, said yesterday.

The supply capacity is 28GW, including 8.7GW from other regions. That means a supply gap of 1.5GW-2GW, as 1GW of capacity is usually held back for emergency use, Zhou told a government work conference.

Zhou said the city government is negotiating with State Grid Corp of China to secure additional supplies from the Xiangjiaba hydropower station in southwestern China and the Qinshan nuclear power station in neighboring Zhejiang Province for the peak season.

He also told Shenergy Co and Shanghai Electric Power Co to make sure a new 400-megawatt generation unit at their Lingang power plant in Pudong can begin commercial operations in the current quarter. One gigawatt is 1,000 megawatts.

Among other efforts, the city will step up maintenance on its existing power plants in the spring to ensure they can function reliably in the summer, Zhou added.

And key energy users, such as industrial companies, have been told to strengthen captive power-generation capacity.

Shanghai has been relying on out-of-town generation for about one third of its power supply in recent years due to land and resource constraints.

Though the city's power growth is moderating as a result of a slowing economy, Shanghai's power need remains big and rising in the long run, said Vice Mayor Ai Baojun, who is in charge of the industrial sector.

"One thing you should know is that per-capita electricity consumption in Shanghai is only what it was in Tokyo 10 years ago," Ai said.


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