China's railway ministry gears up to help ease power shortage

16:23, June 04, 2011      

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The Ministry of Railway (MOR) said on Saturday that it was ready to help ease the possible electricity power crunch in the country through deploying more resources to transport thermal coal to coal-fired power plants.

"Relevant MOR local bureaus are paying close attention to the supply and consumption of thermal coal in regions suffering power shortages, and would make sure no power shortage is caused by delays in railway transport," said the MOR in a statement on its website.

The MOR's pledge comes amid looming power shortages in many regions of the country as demand peaks in summer.

Seventy percent of the nation's electricity needs are supplied by coal-fired power plants, and as the coal is mainly extracted in the north, the MOR often finds itself short-handed when demand for thermal coal surges in summer.

The situation in eastern and coastal regions would very likely be worse than that in 2004 when the worst power scarcity to date hit the country, according to State Grid Corp. of China, China's largest power distributor.

"By the end of May, China's 363 power plants had a total coal storage of 32.346 million tonnes, which can be used to generate electricity for 14.1 days," the MOR said.

Source: Xinhua

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