China’s Henan Province Hit by Shortage of Winter Heating after Cold Wave

Workers conduct repair work at the site where a thermal pipeline that supplies heating leaked, during winter solstice in Beijing on Friday.

BEIJING (Reuters) — Several cities in the central Chinese province of Henan are facing a winter heating supply crunch after a cold wave swept through a swathe of areas, bringing blizzards and sending temperatures to near historic lows.

Persistent cold snaps have put thermal power suppliers under strain in Jiaozuo, a city in Henan, with a breakdown of heating boilers in one of the major suppliers leaving some areas in urgent need of more heat supply.

JiaoZuo WanFang Aluminum Manufacturing, the supplier, is scrambling to fix the malfunction and expects to resume supply on Dec. 26, state media reported on Sunday, without specifying the number of boilers that have broken down.

JiaoZuo WanFang Aluminum did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment from Reuters.

The city will suspend heat supply for most businesses except essential service providers such as hospitals and senior centers to prioritize residential heat usage. However, some residential compounds will still be affected during the device maintenance period, the media reports added.

Separately, the cities of Puyang and Pingdingshan, also in Henan, have already suspended heat supply to government departments and administrative institutions to prioritize residential usage, the local governments said, citing extremely cold weather.

The weather forecast shows temperatures in the three cities hitting sub-zero on Sunday. Temperatures in several other areas in Henan would plunge to a low of minus 15 C over the weekend, the central province’s weather authority said on Saturday.

Warm air is expected to flow from the country’s north to south lifting temperatures from the weekend.