Sichuan restores most industrial power after two-week crisis

SICHUAN (BLOOMBERG) – China’s south-western province of Sichuan has restored most power supplies for industries and businesses by Sunday (Aug 28) noon after restrictions lasting about two weeks.

Power use at large-scale industries is gradually resuming, except for those with excessive energy consumption, according to news reports, citing the State Grid Corporation of China.

Large-scale industries will fully resume once water supplies to hydropower stations in Sichuan improve.

Lower temperatures and rain helped to ease the power shortage. Hydropower output rose to 460 million kilowatt-hours Sunday, 9.5 per cent above the lowest level earlier when the province adopted power restrictions.

Toyota Motor and electronics manufacturer Foxconn have restarted factories in Sichuan, Nikkei reported earlier.

Cooler weather has also reduced air-conditioning demand, requiring less power needed to be diverted to people’s homes.

The peak amount of electricity needed for cooling fell to 12 gigawatts Sunday, down by half from the previous week.

More widespread weather shifts are expected early this week, with rainfall in Sichuan possibly ramping up from extreme drought to about 40 per cent more than normal.

Rain is also likely to end heatwaves in southern and eastern China later this week, bringing an end to power control orders that affected factories in those areas.