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Growing demand may fuel natural gas shortage on coast this winter

09-26-2010 08:48 BJT

By Li Woke

Growing demand may tighten the nation's natural gas supply in coastal areas again this winter, a dilemma that may reduce power to regional factories, the official government planning body was quoted as saying Saturday.

"The main reason for the increase in demand is a spike in natural gas consumption in some areas in August - such as Shanghai and Zhejiang Province," the Chinese-language China Business news website quoted a National Development and Reform Commission official as saying.

"In addition, some regions, including Jiangxi, Guangxi and Fujian, that lack resources began consuming large amounts of natural gas last month."

Last year, central and eastern Chinese provinces experienced a serious natural gas shortage due to the abnormally cold winter.

One of the government measures deployed to address the problem was curbing fuel con-sumption by factories.

But with increased importation of liquefied natural gas and new natural gas exploration ongoing this year, Gu Yu, an industry analyst with the Shenzhen-based Guotai Junan Securities, believes another shortage is unlikely this year.

Earlier industry reports indicate that China is expected to run short by some 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2010.

"The current natural gas shortage has occurred for several years already, but this year will not be the worst year," said Wang Yan, an analyst with Anbound Information.

"China is stepping up efforts to tackle the problem."

The central government is currently working to speed up construction of domestic gas pipeline projects.

"Between 2009 to 2015, the state plans to build 24,000 kilometers of new trunk lines with a total pipeline length reaching 48,000 km, double that of 2008," said Wang.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: Global Times

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