Pricing Conflict Pits Coal, Power Suppliers

From Caijing Magazine:

China is facing its worst power shortage since 2004 — a supply-demand gap that, according to the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC), will reach 16 million kilowatt this summer.

At the core of the shortage are spiny issues over coal-fired power that the government hopes to resolve through a series of measures aimed at ending price increases and guaranteeing supplies.

Zhao Xiaoping, deputy director of the National Energy Administration, said July 22 that the coal market “cannot rely only on market mechanisms. It also needs government control measures.”

To that end, the government’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in June announced price caps for the type of thermal coal used to generate power. And on July 24, the government clamped down harder with another set of price controls for spot coal shipped to major ports and distribution centers.

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