Toyota Motor Corp and Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL, 新能源科技), the world’s top battery maker, are closing plants in China’s Sichuan Province as a drought-induced power crisis worsens.
The Japanese automaker shut a factory in the provincial capital of Chengdu and would keep operations suspended until Saturday, company spokesperson Shiori Hashimoto said.
The Chengdu plant produces about 30,000 vehicles a year, including the Landcruiser Prado, the manufacturer’s Web site says.
CATL halted activity at its major lithium battery base in the city of Yibin through the same date, a local business publication reported.
The company did not respond to an e-mailed request for comment.
The power cuts have affected more than 70 percent of steel mills in Sichuan, which have either halted production or started rationing, Mysteel said in a note this week.
Henan Zhongfu Industry Co (河南中孚), an aluminum smelter, is halting production for a week for some production units in Sichuan.
The Chinese price of aluminum is up about 3.5 percent since Monday’s close.
Sichuan, one of China’s most populous provinces, is highly reliant on hydropower. That makes it particularly vulnerable to a heat wave and drought that have pushed up air-conditioning demand and dried up reservoirs behind hydro dams. It is a key manufacturing hub and is also important for the production of materials, including polysilicon and lithium, that are vital to the energy transition.
The southwestern province has become a key development hub for battery makers aiming to harness hydropower to reduce emissions in their production processes.
CATL has about 100 gigawatts of existing and planned capacity in the province, the most after Fujian, according to BloombergNEF.
Volkswagen AG on Monday said its factory in Chengdu is affected by power shortages, but that it was only expecting slight delays in deliveries to customers. Foxconn Technology Co (富士康科技集團) also makes Apple iPads in the province, but said it was seeing only limited impact from the drought so far.
While other regions in China are dealing with curtailments on a smaller scale, a major power crisis is likely to be mostly limited to Sichuan because of its unique reliance on dams for electricity.
Many Chinese provinces rely more on coal for power, and generators stocked up on the fuel in the run-up to summer as COVID-19 lockdowns weighed on demand. The heat wave has reversed that, with coal consumption for the first two weeks of this month rising 15 percent from a year earlier, the government’s top planning agency said on Tuesday.
Temperatures in Chengdu yesterday were as high as 38oC after soaring above 40oC in parts of Sichuan on Tuesday, with humidity making it feel hotter.
Some office buildings in the city have stopped air-conditioning as the power shortage becomes more severe, Securities Times reported.
Sichuan is a major rice and corn producer, and the National Meteorological Center said this week the drought could damage crops and hinder growth.
The heat wave is not limited to just Sichuan and is affecting the wider Yangtze River basin. There is only light-to-moderate rain expected in the next week and the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest, in neighboring Hubei Province, would release more water in the next five days to help replenish the middle and lower reaches of China’s largest waterway, Xinhua news agency reported.
Apple Inc might make one out of four iPhones in India by 2025, JPMorgan & Chase Co analysts said yesterday, as the tech giant moves some production away from China, amid mounting geopolitical tensions and strict COVID-19 lockdowns in the country. JPMorgan expects Apple to move about 5 percent of iPhone 14 production from late this year to India, which is the second-biggest smartphone market in the world after China. It is also estimating that about 25 percent of all Apple products, including Mac, iPad, Apple Watch and AirPods, would be manufactured outside China by 2025 from 5 percent currently. The US company
HEADING SOUTH: The US company chose Kaohsiung as its site as more customers, partners and start-ups have expanded their operations to the southern city Qualcomm Inc yesterday inaugurated a new innovation center in Kaohsiung as it steps up efforts to foster local start-ups and a 5G technology ecosystem in the city, following in the footsteps of its local partners. The US chip company’s move fits the Kaohsiung City Government’s plan to build a semiconductor supply chain within the next five years, highlighted by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) first chip plant in the city. TSMC plans to start building the factory by the end of this year, and to start production of 28-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips there in 2024. Qualcomm said it had been
SLUMPING DEMAND: Inventory has climbed by up to 12 weeks as suppliers are under mounting pressure to offload excessive reserves, a TrendForce report said The price of DRAM chips is expected to fall at a steeper rate of 13 to 18 percent next quarter, as high inflation continues to weigh on demand for consumer electronics, causing chip inventories to soar, market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said yesterday. The downtrend in DRAM prices could extend from a quarterly decline of 10 to 15 percent in the third quarter, the Taipei-based researcher said. “Demand for consumer electronics continued to stagnate during the third quarter, which used to be a high demand season,” TrendForce said in a statement. “During the quarter, memorychip consumption and shipments both showed quarterly
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in July made its consumer health products division a separate entity as it transforms into a world-leading biopharmaceutical company. By uniting science, technology and talent, the company is aiming to prevent and treat diseases with innovative vaccines, specialty pharmaceuticals and general medicines. GSK’s headquarters annually invests NT$192 billion (US$6.07 billion) in research and development, focusing on immune science and advanced technologies in human genetics. GSK’s drug and vaccine development focuses on infectious diseases, HIV, oncology and immunology. Investing in clinical trial research each year, GSK also brings drug development to Taiwan. It cooperates with 17 medical institutes and research