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PRD Power Crisis

24 July 2004 | Link | John Herbert

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The Pearl River Delta (PRD), the world's factory creates more than 30% of China's manufacturing output, and contributes 8.7% of China's total GDP. The region has suffered from power shortages of increasing severity.

Last year (2003), an estimated 10 million kw shortfall was predicted, during the summer months factories across China were closed yet again for periods of up to eighteen days per month, causing disruption, missed contracts and lost profits.

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This year (2004) official predictions estimate a 30 million kw shortfall, to help meet the load power has been imported to the PRD from the distant west and the Three Gorges dam to keep the PRD lights on, and yet widespread power shortages been recorded in 24 out of 31 providences to date.

These problems stem from the 1998 generation moratorium, and time will be needed to recover.

Emergency conservation measures were introduced again this summer, to help reduce consumption. Manufacturers are operating staggered shifts, working over-night, or taking extended holiday's periods, all last minute attempts to reduce consumption. One area that has been immune to shortages is the Shekou peninsular, since it is always served directly from CLP in Hong Kong.

Another example, amongst others, Corning (Shanghai) will halt production for an extendedpower shortage, increasing fuel costs, PRD, china, PRC, Kelcroft holiday for three weeks in August 2004. Officials have indicated that normal service will resume in 2006, however independent observers believe 2012 is more realistic target.

To allow production to continue, some owners are operating private diesel generating sets. This has increased demand for No. 0 diesel fuel, which has increased operating costs by upto 30% and dramatically increased pollution.

Indications are that authorities are considered restricting these adhoc generator sets to avert further environmental damage. China's appetite for fuel is driving prices higher, further damaging profits.


Kelcroft has the means and skills to assemble a complete relief package, whether for a single factory or an entire industrial park. prd power crisis power shortage prd China, Kelcroft

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) also known as Cogeneration is just one good option, CHP provides owners with relief, whilst optimising the usage of fuel.

CHP systems generate electricity, recovering waste energy to drive air-conditioning or process needs. Hospitals, hotels and industry often leverage the advantages of CHP to reduce owning and operating costs.

Don't be left in the dark waiting for solutions.


It is reported in the Hong Kong media that CLP is contemplating a new power cable for Shekou Industrial Zone.CLP is already supplying electricity to the entire Shekou peninsula.

The long hot summer coming to an end may bring relief to some, not in the YRD. Further power shortages will continue into fall and winter months.


Mr John Herbert is the Managing Director at Kelcroft. Educated and trained in the United Kingdom, he has managed and engineered solutions for more than twenty years, across three continents, in several countries, whilst retaining a litigation free record.

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