China Chill Leads to Power Rationing

7 January 2010 (Last Updated January 7th, 2010 18:30)

Many of China's eastern and central provinces have resorted to power rationing amid increased demand due to record cold temperatures. Coal transport has also been hampered by heavy snow, according to local reports. Beijing recorded its coldest day in 29 years on Tuesday, wit

Many of China's eastern and central provinces have resorted to power rationing amid increased demand due to record cold temperatures.

Coal transport has also been hampered by heavy snow, according to local reports.

Beijing recorded its coldest day in 29 years on Tuesday, with temperatures dropping to 3.2°F, and its heaviest snowfall in 60 years.

While power rationing had been limited to industrial users, power company officials said residential areas would not be affected.

"Even under extreme circumstances we will ensure residential electricity supply, which is always the top priority," said Wang Changxing, spokesperson for the Shanghai grid, a major branch of the East China grid, China Daily reports.

In Hubei, one of the worst-hit areas, power cuts have been imposed on "several thousand" energy-intensive companies such as those in the metallurgy and steel sectors, according to a spokesperson for Hubei Electric Power company.