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UPDATED: 19:15, May 24, 2004
Power cut in 24 provinces in first 4 months
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Demand for electric power in 24 Chinese provinces has exceeded supply in peak hours in the first four months this year, causing power to be cut, though the annual power use peak has yet to come.

The China Electricity Council (CEC) told Xinhua Monday that electricity consumption amounted to 649.3 billion kwh from January to April, a year-on-year

rise of 15.5 percent.

The CEC attributed the increase to the growth of industrial use.The power-extensive industries such as iron and steel, cement and aluminum have a

power consumption over 20 percent more than the same period of 2003.

China will see power generation units with a capacity of 37 million kw put into use this year, though mainly in the latter half of the year, the CEC said.

In the coming third quarter this year, the country will be short of around 30 million kw of electricity, it added.

The overloaded power plants and grids also led to unstable power supply, and residents in the 24 provinces suffered power cuts in peak hours.

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