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[Chinese] National power grid plugged in by 2005

(JING JI) 02/17/2003

The State Power Grid Corp is expected to link its separated power grids and set up a national transmission network by 2005.

The company is expected to have connected grids in Central and North China this year, it said in a statement on Saturday.

The firm, which used to be the nation's largest electricity producer, has focused on grid construction and development since it lost its power generating assets at the end of last year under the government's industry reforms.

The Central China grid covers the provinces of Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi and Henan. The North China grid covers Beijing and Tianjin municipalities and the provinces of Hebei, Shanxi and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

The statement said State Power also plans to start construction of a grid connection between Northwest and Central China.

Several other linkages will also be studied, including grid connections between Northwest and North China, and between North and East China, it added.

Most of China's 15 regional and provincial power grids are separated. The fragmented grids have impeded electricity transmission from areas with abundant electricity supplies, like western regions, to power-starved and economically booming coastal areas.

The lack of cross-border connections has also partly prevented regional customers from buying cheaper electricity from outside areas.

The central government hopes to create a national grid, excluding the remote Xinjiang Uygur and the Tibet autonomous regions, and Hainan and Taiwan islands, within 10 years to guarantee stable electricity supply and a competitive market.