BEIJING, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Chinese power grid companies invested more in distribution networks in the first nine months of the year despite electricity consumption growth almost stalling amid the economic slowdown.
Investment in power distribution networks in urban and rural areas amounted to 113.2 billion yuan (about 18 billion U.S. dollars) from January to September, up 13 percent from a year ago, according to the China Electricity Council (CEC) on Friday.
The money, which accounted for nearly half of all investment in power grid projects, aims to improve power supply capacity and boost the reliability of electricity distribution networks, CEC said.
About four-fifths of the investment, or 88.31 billion yuan, came from the State Grid Corp., China's largest power supplier. The Southern Grid and Inner Mongolia Electric Power Company contributed to another 23.69 billion yuan and 1.19 billion yuan of investment, respectively.
China's power consumption growth slowed further in September as factory activity and industrial output posted weaker increases amid the economic downturn. Total electricity consumption grew only 2.9 percent from a year earlier to 405.1 billion kwh. The growth was 0.7 percentage points lower than that of August and 9.3 percentage points lower than that of September 2011, according to data from the National Energy Administration.