(Updates deficits for five southern provinces)
BEIJING, July 19 (Reuters) - Five southern Chinese provinces, including Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Yunnan and Hainan, may face power shortages of up to 7 to 8 gigawatts (GW) in the third quarter, the local grid operator said in a report published on Tuesday.
The provinces had to cut power supplies of up to 9.01 GW to users at some point in the first half due to lower than normal hydro levels and tight coal supplies to thermal power plants, China Southern Electric Power Grid said in the report published on www.ndrc.gov.cn.
Of the expected deficit, Guangdong alone could account for 4 to 6 GW and Guizhou will have shortfalls of 1.5 to 2 GW, the grid operator said. The grid operator's forecasts were similar to its estimates for the second quarter.
China has cut power supplies to users in some regions from earlier this year due to reasons including strong demand, high coal costs, low hydro levels and insufficient transmission and generation capacity.
But power woes have eased since last month after widespread rainfall lifted hydropower generation and led to a fall in power use for air conditioning.
The central government raised power prices in some regions and some local governments also offered direct subsidies to help generating firms, suggesting summer power shortages may not be as bad as anticipated.
Following are details of summer power shortage forecasts, expected maximum loads, supply capacity in each region, as reported by local grid operators, local governments or official media.
All numbers are in gigawatts (GW), except Hubei's estimated shortage.
Province maximum deficit maximum load supply or generation
capacity CENTRAL CHINA Jiangxi 2.2-2.4 14.5 12 Henan 4.85 50.7^ Hunan 4.0 16 11.8 Chongqing 2.0 12 11.6^ Hubei 1.8-3.8~ 25.2 49.1^ EAST CHINA Zhejiang 3.5-5.0 50 57.2^ Anhui 2.5 29.3^ Jiangsu 11.0 69 59 Shanghai 0.6-1.1 28-28.5 27.4 SOUTH CHINA* 7-8 118.2 Guangdong 4-6 73 70.9^ Guizhou 1.5-2.0 12 32.8^ Hainan 2.3-2.5 3.9^ Guangxi 13.5-15.4 25.2^ Yunnan 11-12 36.2^ NORTH CHINA Beijing 1.02 19.1 6.3^ Shandong 1.0 52 62.7^ Hebei 3.0 25-26.6 23.6 Tianjin 1.5 11.4 10.9^ ---------------------------------------------------------- Total# 45.97-51.17
^ Total power generating capacity at the end of 2010. It differs from supply capacity that includes delicate power supplies from other regions or excludes delicate generation for other regions. In addition, different types of generators, nuclear, thermal, hydro or wind, have different utilisation rates and thus represent different effective supply capacity.
* Forecasts are for the third quarter.
~ in billion kilowatt hours
# Not including Hubei (Reporting by Jim Bai and Ken Wills; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)