BEIJING, May 23 (Xinhua) -- China witnessed the worst power shortage in decades in 2004, but the country's leading power distributor said Monday that this year might prove worse.
Some 26 provincial regions under the management of State Grid Corp. of China would suffer combined power shortages of 30 million kilowatts this year, said Shuai Junqing, the company's executive vice president.
As least 10 provincial grids, covering regions such as Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and industrial provinces of Hebei, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, would be hit by power shortages, Shuai said.
Shuai attributed this year's power woes to various factors, including a shortage of thermal coal, insufficient power generating facilities in some areas and grid transmission problems. "All these issues cannot be solved in the short term," he said.
The company vowed to prioritize ensuring power supplies for residents, hospitals and schools as well as those facilities in the public interest to keep running, including ones relating to national security.
In 2004, China suffered the worst power shortage since the beginning of the 1990s, with power cuts or limits imposed in 27 out of its 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions.