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China Turns to Russia To Help Ease Power Crunch

Beijing has cut a deal with Inter RAO to double its electricity supplies to the country’s hard-hit northern provinces this month

People walk past electricity pylons in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China, earlier this week. Photo: Reuters


China has asked Russia’s electricity exports monopoly Inter RAO to double its October supplies as the world’s No2 economy grapples with power cuts.

Beijing is scrambling to deliver more coal to its utilities to restore supply, with nearly two-thirds of Chinese provinces struggling with power rationing. 

The three northeast provinces of Liaoning, Heilongjiang and Jilin – home to nearly 100 million people – have been particularly hard hit.


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Inter RAO, which received a request from the State Grid Corporation of China to increase electricity supplies to the country’s northern provinces this week, started to increase exports on Friday, the company told reporters.

In October, its exports to China will rise by 100% year-on-year and by 90% from the original plan for this month, the Russian company said.

All three Russia-China transmission lines, which are capable of delivering up to 7 billion kilowatt-hours of electrical power per year, will be used for supplies, it added.

A top official of China’s state-asset regulator said on Friday the country’s power supply situation remains challenging and urged grid firms to prioritise residential use and ensure safe operation as winter approaches.

Coal fuels about two-thirds of China’s power generation while Inter RAO exported 3.06 billion kilowatt hours to China last year.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


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Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


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