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Chinese industrial provinces face summer electricity crunch

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Two of China's main industrial provinces face potential power shortages in coming months, authorities warned, in the latest sign that China's power market is coming under pressure ahead of a forecast hotter-than-usual summer.

[BEIJING] Two of China's main industrial provinces face potential power shortages in coming months, authorities warned, in the latest sign that China's power market is coming under pressure ahead of a forecast hotter-than-usual summer.

Southern Guangdong province is already dealing with a big shortfall of electricity supplies as rising temperatures drive higher consumption, the Guangzhou division of grid operator China Southern Power Grid said.

China Southern on Wednesday started curbing power supplies to some industrial users in the capital city Guangzhou for the first time this year, the company said on its official weibo account.

Weak hydro power output in May and higher coal prices have raised concerns over whether China's coal-fired power plants will have enough capacity to meet surging summer demand.

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In a separate statement, the provincial government in eastern Shandong province said it expected a shortage of 5 gigawatt (GW) in power supplies this summer.

The peak power grid load during summer was estimated at 79 GW, up 4 GW from the peak load last year, the Shandong Economic and Information Commission said on its website earlier this month.

The two provinces are among China's largest in terms of population and economic growth. Guangdong is China's top province by total gross domestic product, while Shandong ranked third in 2017.

REUTERS