China wants 12% more electricity


China will demand 12 per cent more electricity this year than in 2004, with the industry already struggling to maintain the reliability of overloaded generators and transmission lines, a top official said yesterday.

Equipment was being run too hard and for too long, the Economic Daily newspaper on Sunday quoted Chai Songyue, president of China Power Regulatory Commission, as saying.

"The tight power supply of the past two years has reduced the reliability of some equipment in some power grids, because of the heavy production loads," he said.

Consumption this year would be as high as 2.422 trillion kilowatt-hours, 12 per cent more than that of last year, when demand grew 14.8 per cent, Mr Chai said.

The average thermal power generator had run for 5,988 hours in 2004, 221 hours longer than in 2003, he said. His figures implied 68 per cent utilisation last year.

China is building new generation and transmission capacity at a furious rate, commissioning the equivalent of a huge 2,500 megawatt power station every two weeks. - (Reuters)