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Steel mills in China’s Hebei cut output due to power shortage

Some steel mills in Hebei, China’s top steelmaking province, have been ordered to curb operations due to power shortages in the region. The report quoted a manager at a Cangzhou-based steel pipeline company as saying that “We have to adjust operation hours in accordance with power-rationing plans, which change every day depending on the power consumption situation. Notices are sent out several hours before power is cut off.”

Around 30 per cent of output capacity has been affected by the rationing, said Gao Jingguang, a manager at Wu’an based-Yuhua Steel, which has capacity of over 5 million tonnes a year.

According to the southern Hebei division of State Grid Corporation of China, power grid loading in late July in southern areas of Hebei reached 36.57 GW, the highest on record, as a heatwave spurred electricity demand. The grid company – which oversees seven cities in southern Hebei, including the major steel cities of Handan and Cangzhou – has issued an alert on a potential power shortage. It asked industrial companies such as steel mills, ceramic makers and oil field operators to restrict activities during peak hours to ensure power supplies for residential use.

State Grid’s Hebei division on Monday also scheduled power outages in Tangshan, in Hebei as well and China’s top steelmaking city, for the coming three days, according to notices from the power company.

Hebei lifted the power shortage alert to “orange”, second-highest in China’s four-tier warning system, in seven cities in southern Hebei on Friday. Under an orange alert, industrial plants can only work from 11 PM to 7 AM, typically off-peak hours for residential use.
Source : REUTERS
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