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Power consumption soars in northern China as Premier issues warning

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – The electricity load in the Chinese province of Henan reached a new record on Monday, primarily driven by air-conditioning demand, as scorching heat waves spread across regions north of the Yangtze river.

Loads reached a peak of 71.08 million kilowatts, surpassing the previous day’s record of 65.34 million kilowatts, according to a state media report published Wednesday morning.

Premier Li Keqiang, visiting a thermal power company in Hebei Province, said that China must increase coal production capacity to “resolutely prevent power outages”, according to a state media summary published late on Tuesday.

Parts of Hebei and nearby provinces of Henan and Shandong have faced drought-like conditions throughout June.

On Wednesday, China’s meteorological administration issued orange alerts warning of high temperatures in regions across the three provinces.

Compounding the heat waves in China’s north are heavy rainfalls in seven provinces and a tornado that ripped through the southern metropolos of Guangzhou, which cut off power supply to over 5,400 users last week.

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