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January 12, 2010

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Cold may prompt power curbs

THOUSANDS of plants may be asked to shut down during the peak-demand hours of the power load today - and some factories may even find their power cut off - if the rising consumption exceeds the city's power capacity, authorities said yesterday.

Shanghai Electric Power Co Ltd, the city's power supplier, said it will face a "severe test" today with electricity consumption climbing to a possible 20.2 million kilowatts.

The company said it will activate emergency plans if necessary.

"Asking plants to avoid using electricity in peak hours is one of the plans," said Wang Changxing, official of the company.

"If the situation turns worse, we will cut the power supply to the factories in a whole area to ensure the household supply and the safety of the grid."

With snowflakes whirling in the sky, Shanghai's power load hit a new record at 4:10pm yesterday at 19.83 million kilowatts - "the critical point of the city's power supply," the company said.

The local power generating capacity hit a record 16.26 million kilowatts yesterday. Other provinces were of limited help because of power shortages nationwide.

Meanwhile, Shanghai yesterday had its first snow this year, but the flakes didn't accumulate.

Light snow and sleet appeared in the city about 8am in suburbs of Chongming County, the Pudong New Area and Jinshan District and later spread across the city, Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said yesterday afternoon.

The weather was too warm for the light snow to settle, said Li Jinyu, chief service officer of the bureau.

The sleet ceased yesterday evening. Li said the weather should turn overcast to cloudy.

"There could be some ice on the streets at night as the temperature should drop, which might cause some trouble to the traffic," Li reminded.

Temperatures were forecast to drop to zero Celsius early this morning.

Today should be cloudy, with the temperatures ranging from zero to 4 degrees.

Tomorrow is forecast to be the coldest day this week, according to the bureau, with the minimum at minus 2 and the maximum at only 3.


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