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China Daily Global / 2020-02 / 14 / Page010

Keeping the lights on amid epidemic

By YUAN SHENGGAO | China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-02-14 00:00

Because of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus epidemic, supplies in many parts of the country have been affected.

However, electricity supply to meet the demands of disease control and people's livelihoods throughout most the country was not disrupted, according to industry insiders.

Coal suppliers in Shanxi have contributed to meet the national demand for power generation. This is despite a shortage of laborers due to the Spring Festival holiday and that the province has been affected by the epidemic, said local officials and business executives.

From the Gaohe coal mine operated by the Lu'an Group, one of the nation's leading coal suppliers based in Shanxi, more than 110,000 metric tons of coal has been transported to thermal power plants and other clients in Hubei, the center of the epidemic, according to Hao Xiaoguang, an executive in charge of coal transport at the company.

Shanxi Coking Coal Group is another major supplier of coal to Hubei.

"Since Jan 25-the first day of the Lunar New Year-we have received requests from Hubei's power plants for increased coal delivery," said Wang Maosheng, chairman of the company.

"By Feb 6, production had been resumed in all of our 20 mines," Wang said.

He added that the company has an inventory of 2.86 million tons, which will be sold to its priority clients in Hubei and its home province of Shanxi.

According to Guo Baomin, head of the Shanxi Provincial State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, eight coal producers in Shanxi have been working extra shifts to supply coal to Hubei, Shanxi and other regions.

In addition, a number of coke, gas, water and chemical producers as well as logistics and transport companies have gone full capacity to ensure supplies to the regions, according to Guo.

"Considering the emergency, our focus is to produce products that meet the demands for disease control and people's daily necessities," added Guo.

Medical supplies are the first priority of manufacturers in Shanxi, said Li Jinping, head of the Shanxi Provincial Industrial and Information Department.

The official said the province had dispatched 28 batches of medical supplies to various regions in the country by Feb 6.The Jihua 3534 Garment Co based in Wenxi county is one of the major manufacturers of protective clothing.

"We began to produce protective clothing on Feb 4 and to date we have a daily capacity of 1,000 medical protective garments and 4,000 non-medical protective garments," said Wang Qingcai, executive board director of the company.

As life becomes inconvenient in communities as a result of the lockdown to ensure disease control, the supply of daily necessities has become a pressing challenge.

To overcome this, many retailers in Shanxi have used both online and offline channels to expand supplies of daily goods.

They have vowed to offer customers products of a good quality, at a large volume and reasonable prices.

Chu Dequn, chairman of the local Meitehao Chainstore Co, said most of the goods at the company's outlets are sold at prices similar to those before Spring Festival.

"In addition, we ensure that at least six products at our stores will be sold at our purchase price everyday," Chu said.

According to Wang Hongjin, head of the Shanxi Provincial Department of Commerce, the province has kept a steady supply of such goods as cereals, cooking oil, pork, eggs, vegetables and beverages.

"We will keep on monitoring market situations to ensure our supplies in the future," Wang said.


Commodities produced in Shanxi are delivered to Russia on the China-Europe express cargo train service, despite the novel coronavirus outbreak in China. REN LING/FOR CHINA DAILY





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