Cold weather in China creates energy woes

Jan. 13, 2011 at 10:47 AM

BEIJING, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Cold temperatures and freezing rain could create major headaches for the energy sector in southern China, energy analysts said.

Parts of southern China are plagued by freezing rain and sub-freezing temperatures, straining oil and electricity supplies.

Adam Sieminski, an energy economist at Deutsche Bank, was quoted by the Platts news service as saying China should be prepared for problems with energy if the weather pattern persists.

"Cold weather in China is expected to intensify over the coming weeks and this, in our view, is likely to exacerbate the squeeze in electric power availability within the country," he said.

Chinese provinces in 2008 had their power capacity cut in half for the industrial sector because consumer demand was prioritized because of bad weather.

Zhang Liutong, an energy analyst with Facts Global Energy, told Platts that China might have to rely more on imports to keep energy supplies sufficient during the harsh winter.

Deliveries are being affected by icy road conditions in much of southern China, where a cold weather pattern could linger for weeks.

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