SEOUL, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- South Korea on Sunday warned of a possible power-shortage crisis that may lead to a rolling power outage as seen in Sept. 2011 amid a scorching heat wave across the country.
Nationwide heat wave was expected to cause the most dangerous crisis in supply and demand of electricity here for three days through Wednesday, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE).
Last Friday, power demand reached a record high of 79.35 million kilowatts (kWs), surpassing the country's power-generation capacity of 77.15 million kWs. Power reserves temporarily dropped to 3.29 million kWs, below the safe level of 3.5 million kWs.
Demand for electricity was estimated to surge to 80.5 million kWs from Monday to Wednesday, far exceeding the power supply capability of 77.44 million kWs. The ministry warned that despite planned emergency measures, the nation's power reserves were estimated to plunge to 1.8 million kWs next week.
"Power demand is expected to top the 80-million-kWs level for three days from tomorrow. This is a whopping 3 million kWs higher than last summer's peak demand," Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Yoon Sang-jik said in an emergency statement.
"An abrupt breakdown of a single power generator would lead to a rolling power cut-off that occurred on Sept. 15, 2011," Yoon added.
South Korea went through a nationwide rolling blackout over the cited day when lack of power reserves caused the shut-off of electricity supply in turns at major cities to keep power consumption under control.
Yoon asked all factories, households, shops and public institutions to refrain from using electricity from 10 a.m. to 6 p. m. for three days from Monday, urging them to keep indoor temperature at no lower than 26 degrees Celsius.