China Feels New Year Chill As Coal Shortage Bites

With bad weather already throwing China’s Spring Festival mass migration into chaos, the country now faces a major energy supply problem. From The Times:

State media has described the crisis as China’s worst-ever power shortage. With coal prices soaring and supplies disrupted by some of the most severe winter weather in years, it is certainly the most acute since 2004 when demand outstripped supply by 40 gigawatts. A rush for individual generators and to buy diesel to fuel them sent state firms into the international markets, provoking a spurt in crude oil prices.

So worried is the government that on Friday it put in place a two-month ban on coal exports. [Full Text]

The report goes on to say several small coal mines shut down earlier this year over safety concerns have be ordered to re-open to ease the crisis.

See also: “China’s Wen orders govt to ensure power supply, transport amid snowstorms,” from XFN via Forbes.com.

[Image: A coal mound in Yantai, Shandong Province, by china.sixty4 via Flickr]

January 27, 2008 8:20 PM
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Categories: Economy, Environment