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Over 50 Towns Left with No Power

More than 50 towns in eight counties in southwest China's Sichuan Province are still without power three weeks after a catastrophic earthquake, a senior energy official said on Monday.

Zhang Guobao, director of the National Energy Administration, said: "Some areas that have regained power are using diesel generators. Their power transmission facilities have not been restored."

Power supplies to the other 46 quake-hit counties and regions had been restored, said Yu Yanshan, deputy director of the office of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission, during an online interview with Netizens at the central government's portal,, yesterday. Power supplies were basically restored in Xiaojin County at Sunday noon, according to the latest update published on the Website of SERC.

However, service was still unavailable to more than 50 towns in the counties of Wenchuan, Beichuan, Pingwu, Qingchuan, Lixian, Songpan, Wolong and Maoxian.

"We are still rushing to repair the damaged power supply facilities in Sichuan to restore service to the whole province," said Yu.

The grids in 54 counties in Sichuan were severely damaged in the quake.

Staff should be mobilized to resume normal power grid operations as quickly as possible, Zhang told a power restoration meeting held in Sichuan Province.

"More important is to handle well the electricity supply for residents in resettlement locations," Zhang added. "Power lines should be erected as soon as possible to serve the resettlement work."

The devastating quake also ravaged coal mines, and shipments of power coal were at one point interrupted by quake debris on a major rail line, cutting coal reserves in Sichuan by about 30 percent.

Coal stockpiles had risen to a nine-day reserve of 1.23 million tons as of Friday after more fuel was shipped in from the neighboring provinces of Guizhou, Shaanxi and Henan, Yu said. The stockpiles are about the same as that prior to the quake, he added.

The maximum load of the key power grids in Sichuan had reached 11.06 million kilowatts, about 96 percent of the maximum load on the same day last year, he said.

(Xinhua News Agency June 3, 2008)

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