REUTERS: Aluminium smelters in Southwest China's Yunnan province have been asked to test the feasibility of staggering their power consumption ahead of the ruling Communist Party's centenary celebrations, according to a document reviewed by Reuters.
Yunnan has become a popular destination for aluminium producers keen to use its hydropower resources for the energy-intensive smelting process. Any disruption to power supplies could have a knock-on effect on the province's aluminium output.
Smelters must check whether no less than 10per cent of their power consumption, or at least three hours' worth per day, can occur outside peak times, according to the document from Yunnan's dispatch and control centre.
Two industry sources confirmed the authenticity of the document.
Smelters have until May 20 to check the feasibility of such an adjustment, the document said.
Yunnan's state-run power grid operator did not immediately respond to a faxed request for comment.
The 100th anniversary of the Communist Party's founding will be marked on July 1. China's government often takes steps to reduce industrial production to ensure clear skies for such showpiece events.
While not as smog-prone as some parts of China, Yunnan was one of seven regions reminded by the National Development and Reform Commission last week of the need to meet energy efficiency targets this year after its consumption rose in the first quarter.
(Reporting by Tom Daly; Additional reporting by Min Zhang, Muyu Xu and Beijing Newsroom; Editing by David Clarke)