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China faces tight power supply this winter

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BEIJING, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- A spokesman of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission said Thursday that power shortages would hit China during the winter and spring as concerns grow that rising coal prices will further increase supply pressures.

The southern and central regions, in particular, will be most heavily affected by power shortages due to lack of available coal and water to generate enough electricity to meet rising heating demands in cold seasons, spokesman Tan Rongyao said.

Tan said that the country faces great pressure in meeting demand this year. A total of 17 provinces have taken measures, including power cuts, to ease supply pressure since the start of the year.

He said that maximum power shortage could reach 26 million kilowatts this winter.

He said coal prices could rise further, which would only exacerbate the shortages.

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