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China’s central government has ordered state-owned energy companies to do whatever they must to secure energy supplies for this winter, according to Bloomberg sources.
The Vice Premier Han Zheng issued the desperate order at an emergency meeting earlier this week with state-owned asset regulator and economic planning agencies.
The message was clear: blackouts will not be tolerated, Bloomberg sources revealed.
But China is already suffering blackouts and coal shortages leading up to the week-long National Day holiday.
In Jilin, one state-owned water services provider said that power cuts “of indeterminate lengths, at indeterminate times, without plan, without warning,” would be the normal until March. Although according to the Washington Post, this statement was later deleted and the water provider apologized for its “unsuitable wording and inaccurate content.”
China blamed the blackouts on reduced mining production due to safety incidents and anti-graft investigations, and limited coal imports.
China has already expanded its power use restrictions to 20 regions and provinces that account for 66% of China’s GDP.
But China is now attempting to calm the market with promises to take necessary steps to maintain economic growth—something that power restrictions across 20 provinces would make particularly difficult.
China’s scrambling to do whatever they must to keep the lights on at home will pressure Europe, who is in the midst of a power crisis of their own, with natural gas prices now at record levels with supplies of natural gas at dangerously low levels heading into the cold season.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.