SINGAPORE : China's southern Guangdong province has raised on-grid tariffs for gas-fired power plants to help generators ease soaring fuel costs, the provincial's economic planner said.
Effective from Oct. 1, gas-fired power plants in the province are allowed to charge 0.05 yuan (US$0.0078) more for each kilowatt hour (kwh) of electricity, the agency said in a statement released on Wednesday.
Surging gas prices and domestic power shortages have heightened concerns about China's fuel security and are weighing on its economy. Natural gas prices in Asia have jumped more than fivefold this year, sparking fears of power shortages in the winter.
Guangdong's economic planner said that plants that source long-term gas supplies from Australia, China's top supplier of liquefied natural gas, are excluded from the tariff hike.
Gas purchased under long-term agreements are much cheaper compared to the Asian spot market, which are now near record highs at close to US$40 per million British thermal units (mmBtu).
The price increase would be equivalent to roughly 8per cent over its previous level at 0.605 yuan per kwh, analysts said.
Guangdong operates nearly 30 gigawatt of gas-fuelled generating capacity, one of China's largest by province and about 30per cent of the national total.
(US$1 = 6.3961 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Susan Fenton)