January 17, 2020 / 7:53 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 2-China appoints new officials at state power firms

(Recasts)

BEIJING, Jan 17 (Reuters) - China has appointed a new chairman at State Grid, the power firm said on Friday, as well as officials at two more state utilities, following its vow to further rein in benchmark prices of coal-fired power and transmission fees.

Mao Weiming, 59, the former vice governor of the southern province of Jiangxi, becomes State Grid’s first chairman not to have worked in the industry. The reasons for his selection were not immediately clear.

He succeeds Kou Wei, who was chairman of State Grid for just 15 months, and is to become the general manager of state-owned major coal-fired power generator China Datang Corp.

A new general manager, Ye Xiangdong, was also appointed on Friday for state-owned utility China Huadian Corp.

Ye was former vice general manager at China Huaneng Group , also one of the five largest power generators.

The appointments were made by the Organization Department of the Communist Party, which controls staffing positions in China’s ruling party.

Datang, Huaneng and Huadian are among the top five power utilities China has asked to merge assets in its bid to cut coal-fired power capacity by up to a third in two years.

Reporting by Muyu Xu and Shivani Singh; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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