The State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), the country's biggest power supplier, plans to more than double its investment for the next two years to a total of 1.16 trillion yuan (US$169.9 billion) for grid construction nationwide.
"We decided to add about 500 billion yuan investment to the original 550 billion yuan scheduled for 2009 and 2010 in a bid to help stimulate domestic demand," said a statement on the corporation's website.
The planned investment is yet to be approved by the State Council, or China's Cabinet.
SGCC general manager assistant Lu Jian said the company had already arranged 12 billion yuan in the fourth quarter for the development of urban and rural power supply in the country's central and western regions.
"We got 2.73 billion yuan from the central government. The rest was from bank loans and company funds," he said.
The State Council announced on Thursday a 100-billion-yuan package to accelerate national economic development in the fourth quarter. SGCC was granted 68.2 percent of the 4 billion yuan that went to support grid building.
Experts said power construction could directly benefit industries such as metallurgy, building materials, electricity and machinery manufacturing, as it would promote investment, consumption and trade.
Industry statistics show that the construction of every 100 kilometers of power lines of a 500-kilovolt grid project consumed 5,000 tons of steel, 2,000 tons of aluminum and 7,000 cubic meters of cement.
In 1998, the government invested more than 300 billion yuan in grid building projects to stimulate the domestic economy and fend off the financial crisis in the southeast Asia, according to the SGCC announcement.
(Xinhua News Agency November 17, 2008)