Russia’s Inter RAO Group energy holding has almost doubled its electricity exports to China since November 1, a company spokesman said on Monday.
Beijing submitted an official request to the company to boost electricity supplies to China to 555 million kilowatt-hours per month in October. Inter RAO’s trading department head Alexandra Panina said the holding is able to cover almost the entire volume of the application.
Inter RAO began to increase supplies to China last month amid the escalating energy crisis in the country’s northern provinces that led to power outages and blackouts.
On September 27, Chinese news portal Zemyan reported that in some 20 regions of the country the supply of electricity was limited due to a shortage of coal. Authorities then enforced restrictions on energy consumption in several northeastern provinces not only for industrial enterprises, but also for households and office premises.
Chinese media said legislative changes to national environmental standards accounted for the coal shortage and the commodity’s rise in price. Also, coal imports from foreign suppliers suffered disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Coal futures in China hit record highs last month after 60 coal mines in the country’s top coal-producing region were forced to shut down amid severe weather conditions. Days later, abnormally cold temperatures in parts of China sent coal prices surging even higher as electricity demand soared.
In mid-October, Chinese authorities ordered a huge boost in coal output to curb the power crunch. China mines and consumes more than half of the world’s coal supply, with the commodity accounting for over 60% of the country’s electricity generation.
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