Mon, Jul 19, 2004 - Page 10 News List

To save power during shortage, Beijing companies are ordered to give vacations

AFP AND AP , BEIJING

The Beijing government has ordered 5,700 companies to give their employees a week off to ease pressure on the city's power supply, state media said yesterday.

The week-long paid vacation will take place at different times for the staff of the companies this month and next month, the Bei-jing Daily Messenger reported.

China is in the midst of another electricity crisis as its booming economy creates a massive appetite for energy.

That could result in a 30,000-megawatt power shortage over the summer months, the worse shortfall since the 1980s, energy sector officials have said.

On Friday, Xinhua News Agency said that up to 400 more businesses in Shanghai, China's commercial capital, will have to operate at night instead of during the day to help alleviate power shortages.

This will bring the total number of businesses in Shanghai being forced to switch to night hours as a power-saving measure to 2,100, Xinhua said.

Another 3,000 companies will take turns operating after 10pm as temperatures continue to rise and power usage soars, it said.

China's economy grew 9.6 percent in the second quarter, only marginally down from 9.8 percent in the first.

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