China Risks Winter Energy Crunch With Struggle to Get Supplies – by Alfred Cang and Dan Murtaugh (Bloomberg News – September 20, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — China is at risk of the same energy-crunch chaos seen in Europe, with a state-run newspaper warning that coal-fired power plants will struggle to keep the lights on this winter.

The nation’s coal-based power producers, which account for more than 70% of the country’s electricity generation, are unable to buy enough fuel after prices surged, state-run China Energy News said in a report dated Sept. 18.

Officials at those plants say they have little coal in inventories, and it’s “almost impossible to buy” the fuel right now, the paper said. Many are struggling with deep operation losses, and some have even turned off their boilers to save costs, the report said.

Energy markets across the world are being rocked by soaring fuel prices, with power companies clambering to secure supplies of everything from coal to gas to fuel oil. Europe has borne the brunt of the crunch, though the U.S. hasn’t been spared either, with electricity prices for the winter soaring to a seven-year high.

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