6 March 2008
Coal shortage has China living on the edge
China’s coal supply is a bottleneck in the power supply. At one time in January, the country was down to eight day’s worth.
Industrial Info Resources reported the China Electricity Council states the coal shortage will become one of the major factors in the restriction of power supply in 2008.
Before the report came out, it appeared the shortage was a temporary issue due to the recent bad weather.
The report states Shanxi, Hebei, Shandong, Henan, and Hubei provinces are in trouble and will have to take some measures of conservation. Some will have to rely more on hydropower, especially in China’s southern power grid.
The imbalance between power demand and supply will worsen this year. The grid will run into an electricity shortage in the dry season and experience a power shortage in peak hours during the flood season.
Some new coal-fired units failed to coordinate transportation arrangements, especially in regions with difficulties in railway transportation such as Shandong and central China.
China has been in a power-coal shortage since the beginning of the year. The stockpile of coal for power has been decreasing since mid-January and even dipped to supply of less than eight days of consumption on 27 January.
After the government’s intervention, the stockpile increased to about 14 days of average daily consumption.