China’s scorching southwest extends power curbs as drought, heatwave continue

Date:

  • China announces 11th consecutive heat ‘red alert’
  • Sichuan extends industrial power curbs until August 25
  • Chongqing Shortens Commercial Site Working Hours
  • Shortages could hit Tesla

SHANGHAI, Aug. 22 (Reuters) – China’s scorched southwestern regions cut power consumption on Monday as they deal with dwindling hydroelectric production and rising household electricity demand amid a long drought and heat wave.

The state’s weather forecasters issued a “red alert” Monday for the 11th consecutive day for the 11th consecutive day as extreme weather continues to devastate power supplies and damage crops. They also raised the national drought alert to “orange” — the second-highest level.

The drought has already “seriously affected mid-season rice and summer maize in some southern regions,” the agriculture ministry said on Sunday.

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The National Meteorological Center said as many as 62 weather stations, from Sichuan in the southwest to Fujian on the southeast coast, saw record temperatures on Sunday. The situation could improve from Wednesday if a cold front moves into China through Xinjiang.

The Chongqing region, which reached temperatures of 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) late last week, announced that the opening hours of more than 500 shopping centers and other commercial locations would be reduced from Monday to reduce power demand.

Malls on the list that Reuters contacted on Monday confirmed that they had received the notification from the government and would abide by the rules. Two hotels on the list said they were still operating normally, but would limit the use of air conditioning.

In neighboring Sichuan province, a major hydroelectric plant, authorities have also extended existing restrictions on industrial power consumers until Thursday, financial news service Caixin said on Sunday. Electricity generation in Sichuan is at only half normal levels after a massive drop in water levels.

Caixin quoted battery industry companies as saying industrial power users in the cities of Yibin and Suining had been told to remain closed until Thursday.

Sichuan – a major energy supplier to the rest of the country – recently commissioned a new coal storage base to ensure the thermal power plants can operate undisturbed.

However, about 80% of its installed capacity is hydropower, making it particularly vulnerable to water supply fluctuations.

Several companies confirmed on Monday that they were limiting production due to the extended power restrictions. Pesticide producer Lier Chemical Co Ltd (002258.SZ) confirmed Monday that the restrictions would last until Thursday.

JinkoSolar (JKS.N), a major solar equipment manufacturer, said its production facilities in Sichuan have been shut down due to power shortages, adding it was “uncertain” how long the measures would last.

Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) gradually resumed operations at its Sichuan plant in China on Monday using a power generator after suspending operations last week, the company spokesman said.

Several factories in Sichuan and Chongqing, including those of top battery maker CATL (300750.SZ) and electric vehicle giant BYD (002594.SZ), have only been able to operate partially in recent weeks due to power shortages.

Sources familiar with the matter said CATL’s Yibin plant makes battery cells for Tesla (TSLA.O), and there were concerns that disruptions could eventually hit the US automaker, although production at the Shanghai plant remains unchanged.

Shanghai, criticized on China’s Twitter-like Weibo for using electricity generated in Sichuan, imposed its own consumption restrictions on Monday and turned off decorative lighting in the riverside Bund area and parts of Lujiazui’s financial center for two days. long out.

Businesses will be encouraged to “spread out” power consumption to reduce peak loads, and some construction projects will be suspended, the official Shanghai Daily said.

Key farming regions have warned of the impact on crops, with Henan Province saying more than a million hectares of land have been hit by drought so far.

About 2.2 million hectares in the Yangtze Basin have been affected, according to the Ministry of Water Resources.

Located in one of the floodplains of the Yangtze River and described as China’s “kidney” for its role in regulating water supplies, Poyang Lake is now 67% smaller than the average of the past 10 years, said state broadcaster CCTV.

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Reporting by David Stanway and Zhang Yan in Shanghai, Martin Quin Pollard in Beijing; Additional coverage by the Beijing editors; Editing by Kim Coghill, Gerry Doyle and Susan Fenton

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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