In East China’s industrial province of Zhejiang there are 500,000 enterprises – and not enough electricity to run them all at the same time. Insiders say the power shortage could be the worst since 2004.
Deputy Director of electricity dispatching centre at the Zhejiang branch of the National Grid, Dai Yan, confirmed the province is facing severe electricity shortages and has been buying power from neighbouring provinces.
“The demand for electricity intensified after Spring Festival and the shortage has been about 2-3 million kilowatts each day”,
“We have bought all of the available electricity from other provinces” Dai told the China National Radio.
Perhaps what the province really needs is more power plants than industrial enterprises.
More than 10 million kilowatt-hours of electricity are absorbed from neighbouring provinces everyday to meet demands. Local authorities reported the province used 15 percent more electricity in the first quarter of the year than any other period during the year.
Especially among industries such as chemical and non-ferrous metal manufacturing where demand has shot up by as much as 20 percent.
Jiangxi, another province has also struggled to cope with increasing electricity demands and has bought more than 20 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity from neighbouring regions, showing an increase demand of 39 percent.
Regions with large manufacturing industries such as Guangdong have also been rotating power supply among their factories to ensure continuous supply. However manufacturers are concerned that frequent power cuts are affecting their profits – and so step up production when power is more available. That spike however leads to further shortages across the country.
Adviser to the China Electricity Council, Wang Yonggan forecasts power shortages in Jiangsu province from 2011 to 2015 could amount to 15 million kilowatts. In Zhejiang province that figure could be more than 10 million kilowatts.
Could this trend of not having enough electricity to manufacture products affect the rest of China?