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Thursday, September 28, 2023
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China facing fiercest heat wave in 6 decades, forcing factories to close

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China’s worst heatwave in 60 years is forcing factories to close with temperatures crossing 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in dozens of cities. 

China’s Sichuan province has ordered all factories to shut down for six days to ease a power shortage in the region as a scorching heat wave sweeps across the country. 

Sichuan is a key manufacturing location for the semiconductor and solar panel industries and the power rationing will hit factories belonging to some of the world’s biggest electronics companies, including Apple (AAPL) supplier Foxconn and Intel (INTC), reported CNN. 

The province is also China’s lithium mining hub — a key component of electric car batteries — and the shutdown may push up the cost of the raw material, analysts said. 

The extreme heat has caused a spike in demand for air conditioning in offices and homes, putting pressure on the power grid. The drought has also depleted river water levels, reducing the amount of electricity produced at hydropower plants. 

Apart from Sichuan, other major Chinese provinces — including Jiangsu, Anhui, and Zhejiang — have also urged business and households to conserve power as the heat wave has depleted electric supplies. 

In some regions, offices have been ordered to increase their AC temperature to above 26 degrees Celsius or shut down lift services for the first three floors, so as to conserve electricity. 

Sichuan, one of China’s largest provinces with 84 million people, told 19 out of 21 cities in the region to suspend production at all factories from Monday to Saturday, according to an “urgent notice” issued on Sunday by the provincial government and the state grid, reported CNN. 

The decision was made to ensure that enough power is available for residential use, the notice said.

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