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China to ensure safe, stable energy supplies through winter

Wang Keju
Updated: Jan 08,2021 23:06

China will redouble efforts to ensure safe and stable energy supplies and sufficient residential heating for the winter, the State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Jan 8.

The meeting noted the recent surge in coal, electricity and natural gas demand across the country due in part to sharp temperature drops covering wide areas.

Related departments are making all-out efforts to shore up production and supply of coal, electricity and natural gas. With daily coal output maintained at high levels and electricity generation and gas supply hitting new highs, these efforts have been effective in meeting the needs of residents and key sectors.

"Energy supply is a matter of warmth and health for the people, especially those in the northern region. It thus deserves our great attention," Premier Li said.

Recent days have seen historic daily lows in temperature across several regions. Meteorological agencies are expecting further temperature drops in mid-January.

Those at the meeting decided that gas fields will be mobilized for safe, full-capacity production, and gas storage facilities will be fully employed to ensure supply under emergency situations. Coordinated efforts are needed to guarantee gas supply for heating purposes where possible.

While ensuring safety, key regions and enterprises in coal production are urged to scale up production by tapping potential sources, shore up delivery support, and draw on reserves as conditions require, taking multipronged measures to maintain supply-demand balance.

Different types of power generation should be prepared to meet rush-hour electricity demand and boost electricity supply. Inter-provincial electricity transmission will be stepped up to channel power from surplus regions to those suffering shortages.

Suppliers should be urged to fulfill their duties and ensure the supply of coal, electricity and natural gas in strict accordance with contracts. Regulators should strengthen production safety supervision and take swift measures against price manipulations.

"Keeping homes properly heated is of vital importance for the people, and greater efforts should be made to ensure natural gas, electricity and coal supply for the people. No deliberate outages will ever be allowed," Premier Li said. "Governments at all levels should intensify inspection and supervision, and any problem identified must be dealt with in a timely and effective way to ensure that the people stay safe and warm throughout the winter."

Energy provision mechanisms will be strengthened to ensure supply over the long run. The systems of energy production, supply, storage and sales will be enhanced. Natural gas and coal storage facilities and emergency backup power systems will be developed at a faster pace, and the role of coal power in meeting peak demand will be harnessed in a science-based manner, with a view to ensuring energy security.

"Stronger efforts should be made to ensure safe and stable energy supply, with priority given to residential heating. It is important to power heating facilities with the most efficient energy source based on local conditions and provide sufficient heating and power supply for residents, particularly those in the colder northern region," Premier Li said.