Sunday, April 04, 2010

Drought causes thermal coal shortage in central China province

13:22, April 04, 2010

About 300,000 tonnes of thermal coals were needed in central China's Hubei Province as lingering drought in the upstream region has cut the hydropower, local officials said Sunday.

About 30 percent of Hubei's electricity capacity comes from hydropower generation, but the drought in southwest China has lowered the water level in the Three Gorges reservoir by six meters against the same period last year.

This caused a shortage of 500 million kilowatt hours of hydropower which could be met by burning 300,000 tonnes of thermal coals, according to the Hubei Electric Power Company.

The province's plan to supply power to the Shanghai Expo was suspended.

The electricity consumption of the first quarter this year in Hubei saw a year-on-year increase of 30 percent. The shortage was expected to worsen as the consumption would surge in summer, company officials said.


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