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May 27, 2011

China's Highways and Power Grid Buildout

1. China's highways will connect more than 90 percent of cities with a population of more than 200,000 by the end of 2015 China's highway network will be basically completed in 2015, and its total length will reach 108,000 kilometers. China had no highways before 1988, while by the end of 2010, the length of highways under construction was 74,000 kilometer. The rapid rate of construction has resulted in various problems, such as the illegal charging of toll fees.



2. China has given preliminary approval to build an ultra-high voltage (UHV) power line to send large volumes of electricity from the coal-rich northwestern Xinjiang region to energy-hungry east China. These lines could have potential power transportation capacity of some 20 gigawatts. China is the only country in the world with plans to build large UHV power line networks, with SGCC alone planning to earmark more than 500 billion yuan ($77 billion) to build 40,000 km of such lines before the end of 2015.

But some industry officials have objected to the UHV power lines, especially alternating current lines, citing concerns including supply security, pollution, economic viability and competition.

China has three UHV lines in operation, two run by the SGCC and one by the China Southern Power Grid Corp.



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