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Last Updated: Monday, 30 August, 2004, 13:11 GMT 14:11 UK
Call for Chinese power spend
A power station on the outskirts of Beijing (29/07/04)
Energy shortages have hit China all summer
China needs to invest $120bn (67bn) over the next five years to increase electricity supplies to meet demand, a leading Chinese official has said.

Wang Yonggan, general secretary of the China Electricity Council, spoke as China continues to struggle in a summer of electricity shortages.

Mr Wang's comments came at the same time as plans for a giant coal-fired power station were revealed.

The country's demand for power has surged as its economy has grown.

Coal power

The proposed plant in the eastern province of Anhui should have a capacity of 20,000 megawatts by 2020, outstripping the vast Three Gorges Dam project, said Pu Hongjiu, vice director of China National Coal Association.

The project is backed by Huaneng Group, China Power Investment and Huainan Mining, Mr Pu said.

More than two thirds of China's existing power stations are powered by coal, China Electricity Council's Mr Wang told Agence France Presse ( AFP).

China is to build 13 new major coal mining facilities and to increase coal production to 1.3 billion tonnes to meet demand, he said.

China is currently struggling against its worst electricity shortages since the 1980s, as its rapidly growing economy continues to strain supplies.

In July, about 400 companies in Shanghai were forced to work at night while some street lights were switched off.

Meanwhile, the country's largest oil refiner, Sinopec, has reported almost a doubling of second-quarter net profit.

With China's current demand for oil as insatiable as its appetite for electricity, Sinopec has seen its profits surge 90% to 8.14bn yuan ($983m; 549m) for the three months to the end of June.




SEE ALSO:
China tackles energy shortages
29 Jul 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Beijing 'brown-out' to save power
22 Jul 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Shanghai firms to work at night
18 Jul 04  |  Business
China's energy supply 'dwindling'
20 May 04  |  Business
China's Wen stresses growth curbs
14 Jun 04  |  Business


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