Two workers of Huaibei power company
inspect the transformer substations in Huaibei, east China's Anhui
Province, Jan. 29, 2008. The power company pressed the monitoring and
inspection on power lines and transformer substations to ensure the power
supplies in order. An unprecedented snowstorm has affected large parts of
China including Anhui, Jiangxi, Guangdong, Hunan, Hubei and
Beijing, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- Most parts of China are
in dire need of power amid severe disruptions caused by the prolonged snow, rain
and cold weather.
As of Sunday, 17 provinces, municipalities and
autonomous regions had suffered blackouts, and power grids in central China's
Hubei, Hunan Provinces and south China's Guizhou and Guangdong Provinces had
been seriously damaged.
More than 30 million people have been affected by the
snow-triggered power shortage, which is blacking out provinces, including the
populous eastern Anhui and Jiangsu and southern Guangdong, according to China's
Ministry of Civil Affairs.
In southwestern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region,
villagers turned to coal oil for illumination after the power had been cut off
amid the heavy snow.
"I bought 200 kilograms of coal oil from the county
yesterday and so far more than 30 kg has been sold," said Tang Libing, a
retailer who lives in Baibao village.
Candles, charcoal and coalballs have also made a
comeback in Guangxi villages where electricity has been cut off.
Continuous snow have also affected the power supply
in eastern Shanghai Municipality, the country's financial hub.
"To make up for the lack of power, we will buy
electricity from neighboring provinces by any means, no matter what it takes,"
Zhou Yongxing, head of Shanghai Municipal Power Company was quoted by the local
First Financial Daily as saying.
"Shanghai's maximum power load is 18 million kw,"
Zhou said. "The city can generate 12 million kw on its own, but the other six
million kw has to rely on other provinces, which have been affected by the
"If power supply fell short of demand, production
restrictions will be imposed on energy-intensive industries to ensure
electricity in local households," the official was quoted as saying.
In the booming province of Guangdong, workers are
busy fixing the power grid disconnected by the heavy snow and strong winds.
"We will do our best to ensure the power supply
during the Spring Festival," said Yuan Maozhen, board chairman of the South
China Power Grid Company, referring to the most important festival in China
which is only a week away.
More than 4,150 power lines that belong to the
company were disrupted by the snow.
Blocked roads and railways have also choked coal
shipments. Most power plants, which had just two days of coal left, resort to
sea routes for shipping in emergency coal supplies.
About 4.5 million tons of coal is expected to arrive
in Guangzhou ports on a fleet of 125 cargo ships, some of which had canceled
international missions to assist in coal shipping from north to south, the
Guangzhou Daily reported on Wednesday.
It said Guangzhou port opened green passages for
incoming cargo ships to unload coal promptly. However, it will still take 15
days for ships from Bohai Bay in north China to reach Guangzhou. Ten cargo ships
will arrive in the next three days, the newspaper said.
"More cargo terminals will be opened to increase the
capacity of the port," Chen Hongxian, board chairman of Guangzhou Port Group was
quoted as saying.
By Tuesday noon, nearly 100,000 railway passengers
had been stranded in Guangzhou because the southern end of the Beijing-Guangzhou
rail line, a north-south trunk railway, has been paralyzed by heavy snow in
central Hunan Province, where power transmission facilities have been knocked
On Wednesday morning, China's Premier Wen Jiabao
arrived at the Guangzhou Train Terminal to help direct the province's disaster
relief work and to see conditions himself.
"We are working on the power shortage," Wen told
passengers stranded in the waiting halls, adding that "as soon as the power
supply resumes, everything will go smoothly."
In Guizhou, 12 cities and counties were still in the
dark with another 19 having only partial power supplies. A total of 472 power
substations ceased operation and 12 electric rail lines were affected in the
Brutal winter storm have wracked the border regions
in southwestern Yunnan Province, cutting off power supplies, paralyzing traffic
and disabling communications.
The snow storm on Tuesday dumped up to one-meter snow
in the Gongshan County of Nujiang Lisuzu Autonomous Region, on the Sino-Burma
border, making at least four towns inaccessible.
The power failure left more than 35,000 people in the
dark when the destructive snowstorm knocked down 140 10-kv utility poles in the
The snow storm has also caused damage to water pipes,
roads and telecommunication cables in the region.
The snow, the heaviest in a decade in many places,
has been falling in China's east, central and southern regions since Jan. 10,
causing death, structural collapses, power blackouts, highway closures and crop