An energy shortage throughout China in recent weeks has resulted in power cuts in millions of homes and businesses which has prompted the government to order coal mines to increase production, said reports quoting sources from China.
According to Chinese news agency Caixin, pledges to increase production has been given by three major coal-producing provinces.
Since the middle of last month, blackouts have hit a number of provinces across the country even while there is an increasing demand for electricity with the country emerging from lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of covid-19 pandemic.
According to the Reuters news agency, a government official and coal traders in North China’s Inner Mongolia region have told more than 70 mines to increase annual output capacity by nearly 100 million tonnes.
The region is the second-largest coal producer in the country.
The proposed 100 million tonne increase in output would account for nearly 3% of China’s total annual thermal coal consumption.
The price of coal has reached new highs forcing energy companies to ration power in large parts of the country due to shortages in power production and this move by Beijing is the latest effort by authorities to boost coal supplies and ensure smooth power generation.
Mining and power companies were urged last week by the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s state planner, to get into new deals for addressing the problem.
Factories in the country have been forced to cut down on production or shut down completely since last month because of a series of power outages. The issue has particularly hit the northeastern Chinese manufacturing hubs.
Energy shortages have caused concern in countries all over the world, including the United Kingdom, mainland Europe, and India, in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, India is on the brink of an unprecedented energy crisis as the country’s power suppliers are struggling to secure enough coal to meet rising demand for electricity.
(Adapted from FT.com)