China state planner says will let power tariffs reflect supply and demand

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People walk past electricity pylons in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China September 29, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

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BEIJING, Sept 29 (Reuters) - China's top economic planner said on Wednesday that it would let electricity rates reflect supply and demand, and to increase coal imports in an orderly manner to ensure heating and power generation demand.

The National Development and Reform Commission also said it would increase domestic natural gas production and guide companies to arrange spot imports of liquefied natural gas at an early date.

"(The Government) shall not intervene in electricity prices from floating within a reasonable range and shall let prices reflect market fundamentals and changes in cost," the planner said.

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The NDRC also said that residential electricity consumption accounts for only a fifth of the total so China has the ability to provide "full protection".

To ensure coal supplies ahead of peak winter heating in northeast China, which was among the regions worst hit by coal and power crunch, the planner called for miners to double down on signing with power plants mid-to-long-term contracts for thermal coal.

Meantime, the government has designated key coal mines in Shanxi, Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia in north China as emergency suppliers for the region over the winter.

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Reporting by Min Zhang in Beijing, David Stanway in Shanghai and Chen Aizhu in Singapore; editing by Jason Neely

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