Power companies preparing response to winter challenges

Updated: 2016-01-22 08:12

By Wang Yanfei(China Daily)

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Electrical power companies are making emergency plans to meet rising demand, as a strong cold front is expected to roll across the nation in the coming days.

"Freezing weather boosts demand for electrical heating every year in winter, and we have prepared for the coming challenges," said Wang Hailong, deputy chief engineer at State Grid Heilongjiang Electricity Power Company in Harbin, one of the hardest-hit regions in northern China. "We conduct thorough inspections to power generating stations twice a month now - one more than usual - and make sure there will be enough workers at every station in case of an emergency."

Wang said a major challenge is the liquification of gas at low temperatures. Temperatures of-40 C is likely to cause malfunctions of gas devices, and they should be operated in insulated conditions.

"There is no electricity shortage, and we will ensure the residential electricity supply even under extreme conditions," Wang said.

The cold air poses the greatest challenge in the southern parts of China, where many places experienced supply shortages in early 2008.

The center predicted on Wednesday that temperatures could drop by 14 degrees Celsius in southern areas, with cities such as Shanghai and Changsha seeing temperatures hit 30-year lows.

By the end of last year, the Zhejiang power company had upgraded 13 lines that failed to meet standards under extremely cold conditions.

In Shanghai, the electrical grid hit a record winter high of 23.83 million kilowatts on Tuesday. It is expected to surge to around 24 million kilowatts during the coming week. The company has lined up more than 3,000 electricians to make repairs in case of power failures.