China to start three new ultra-high
voltage power lines this year
Jan 19, 2009 - BBC Monitoring
The State Grid Corp. of China (SGCC),
the country's biggest power supplier, said it would
start building three more ultra-high voltage (UHV)
power lines this year.
The plan, announced Sunday, came after
the company successfully put into operation the
country's first UHV power line last week. The building
of two other direct current UHV lines are still
The newly announced plan would bring
the number of China's UHV lines to six.
UHV, defined as voltage of 1,000 kv
or above alternating current, and 800 kv direct
current, is designed to deliver large quantities
of power over long distances with power losses less
than traditional lines.
Similar UHV power lines were previously
developed only in Russia and Japan, but the technology
was not widely used in these countries because of
high cost and relatively weak demand.
China's SGCC started construction
on such high-tech power line at the end of 2006
aimd disputes over sophistication of such technologies
and immense investment needed.
The 640-km alternating current line
that linked the southeastern part of Shanxi Province,
a coal-rich region, with Jingmen City of Hubei Province
in central China, started commercial run on Jan.
16 with a total investment of 5.9 billion yuan.
SGCC spokesman Lu Jian said there
was an urgent need for such UHV technologies to
deliver power in the vast nation, where energy resources
are unevenly distributed.
He said about 80 per cent of the country's
coal reserves were found in northern and western
regions and 80 per cent of hydropower in western
regions, while more than 75 per cent of energy demand
is concentrated in the central and eastern regions.
The newly announced three alternating
current lines would connect Huainan of Anhui Province
and Xilingol of Inner Mongolia with energy-thirsty
Shanghai, and the northern part of Shaanxi Province
with Changsha in Hunan.
The company did not give specifics
on investment of these three lines, but said it
would invest 83 billion yuan (12 billion US dollars)
in UHV power lines in 2009 and 2010.
The company also said two other UHV
lines with a combined investment of 40 billion yuan
are already underway. The two direct current lines
would transmit hydropower in Sichuan Province to
Shanghai and southern regions of Jiangsu Province.
The company said it planned to invest
more than 100 billion yuan over the next three to
four years on such UHV lines to make long-distance
transmission more efficient.
The country's electricity demand may
almost double to 7.4 trillion kilowatt-hours by
2020, and the installed generating capacity may
also increase by a similar rate to 1.47 billion
kilowatt, the company said.
The company expected UHV capacity
to reach 300 million kilowatt by 2020, with 78 million
kilowatt dedicated to hydropower transmission.
Source: Xinhua news agency, Beijing,
in English 0815 gmt 19 Jan 09