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Chinese premier calls for more coal production as electricity demand soars

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China’s premier has called for increased production of coal to stave off mass blackouts, as early summer heatwaves have prompted record electricity usage.On Friday authorities again issued high temperature warnings for about a dozen provinces across the central and northern provinces, after consecutive days in the high 30s.As people sought to escape the heat this week, state media reported that electricity demand was up 8.8% in north-west China compared with last year, and 3.2% in northern China, citing the State Grid Corp of China.

Records for maximum electricity loads were broken in Shandong, Henan and Jiangsu.The premier, Li Keqiang, “urged tapping into advanced coal capacity, securing power supply and resolutely preventing power outages amid the peak summer season”, according to state media.

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