Electricity rations that forced factories to close in China’s southwest have been extended until at least Thursday because of less water in hydroelectric dams, according to news outlets and a company announcement that has been in place for decades. Adds to the damage caused by the hottest, driest heat. ,

Tencent News reported on Monday that the “tense situation” of power supply in Sichuan province “has intensified.” No public announcement was made, but the report did include a photo of government notices to the companies. Drought and heat have ruined crops and eroded rivers including the vast Yangtze, disrupting cargo traffic. State media say the government will try to protect the autumn grain crop by using chemicals to generate rain, which accounts for 75% of China’s annual total.

The disruption adds to challenges for the ruling Communist Party, which is trying to shore up economic growth ahead of a meeting in October or November, when President Xi Jinping is trying to give himself a third five-year term as leader. expected to do. Factories making processor chips, solar panels, auto components and other industrial goods in Sichuan were required to shut down or reduce activity last week to save electricity for homes as demand for air conditioning rose to 45 °C (113 °F). had increased. Air conditioning, lifts and lights were switched off in offices and shopping malls.

On Monday, LIER Chemical Co. said in an announcement via the stock exchange in the southern city of Shenzhen that its facilities in the cities of Jinyang and Guang’an in Sichuan have received orders for power rationing by Thursday. Some companies had earlier said that the supply to customers was not affected, while others said that production would come down. Shanghai’s city government said Tesla Ltd and a major state-owned automaker suspended production due to a disruption in the supply of components from Sichuan.

The government says this summer is China’s hottest and driest since it began keeping temperature and rainfall records in 1961. Sichuan, with 94 million people, is particularly hard hit because it gets 80% of its electricity from hydroelectric dams. Other provinces rely more heavily on coal-fired electricity, which is not affected. Economists say that if Sichuan reopens relatively soon, the national impact should be limited as the province accounts for only 4% of China’s industrial output.

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