Coal shortages are forcing Chinese power plants to shut down amid severe winter weather, and snow is hampering deliveries of fresh supplies, a state news agency said Tuesday.
Plants that produce 7 per cent of China’s power have shut down for lack of fuel, and plants accounting for another 10 per cent have less than three days’ reserves, the Xinhua News Agency said, citing the State Electricity Regulatory Commission.
Railways are delivering less than 25 per cent of normal daily coal shipments due to bad weather that is obstructing transportation, Xinhua said, citing the Ministry of Railways.
Coal reserves nationwide stand at 21 million tons, less than half the normal level, Xinhua said.
“Coal transport has been hampered by a combination of the bad weather that has affected much of the country and rising passenger rail traffic ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday in February,” Xinhua said.
“In addition, the cold weather also increased coal demand for heating and heavy rail traffic is also pushing up demand for coal to power the rail system,” it said.
The railway ministry said it stepped up coal shipments Saturday in an effort to ease the shortages, increasing loads by 30 per cent to a record 36,000 cars per day, according to Xinhua. (AP)
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