Heatwave in China forces factories to shut down, affecting Intel, Foxconn, Toyota, and...

Tudor Cibean

Posts: 160   +10
Staff
In a nutshell: The ongoing heatwave and drought in China have caused power shortages in the Sichuan province, which relies greatly on hydroelectric power. The government ordered several factories in the area to halt production for six days, potentially causing delays for some manufacturers.

Many factories in China's Sichuan province have paused operations from Monday to Saturday in order to relieve some of the strain put on the power grid by the ongoing heatwave in the country. Sichuan is a major manufacturing hub and one of China's largest provinces with a population of 84 million people.

China is currently going through the strongest heatwave in the past six decades, with many cities seeing temperatures rise over 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

Air conditioning has become extremely popular in China, with the country reportedly using 68 times more electricity on cooling today than it did in 1990.

The extreme heat has caused many people to crank up the air conditioning in their homes and offices, putting immense pressure on the power grid. In fact, air conditioning has become extremely popular in China, with the country reportedly using 68 times more electricity on cooling today than it did in 1990. Additionally, Sichuan is heavily reliant on hydropower, making it even more vulnerable to the recent drought as hydro dam reservoirs are drying up.

Intel is one of the manufacturers impacted by the energy rationing in the area, as it has two assembly and test manufacturing plants in Chengdu, Sichuan. The entire campus used about 240 GWh of energy last year (including natural gas and fuel oil), highlighting how much power just two manufacturing facilities can draw. It remains to be seen if the disruption will affect pricing and availability of Intel products.

The energy shortage also affected factories belonging to companies such as Toyota, Volkswagen, Texas Instruments, Foxconn, and battery giant CATL, which supplies batteries to many EV manufacturers. According to Bloomberg, VW was expecting only slight delays in deliveries to customers, while Foxconn mentioned its facilities saw just a "limited impact" from the drought.

In related news, Apple is trying to reduce its reliance on China by moving some of its manufacturing to other countries such as Vietnam and India.

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Fearghast

Posts: 579   +496
We need to bring supply chains to friendly countries, friend shoring

we cannot let what happened with russia and ukraine happen again (russia and china declared unlimited friendship)

appeasement doesn't work, invest to change totalitarian dictatorships does not work
And I hoped someone would spin it as a global warming and not political topic.
 

Fearghast

Posts: 579   +496
China is planning to build more coal power plants over the next decade than the rest of the world combined. Hope that helps
You know, when you transfer the production to another country, what will you need to feed them?
I bet same sort of energy.
Truth is, another country might take more sensible approach and feed it with something more "green" like nuclear made electricity, part might be provided by solar etc.
But there are factories there already, you build new factories, and building factories requires power as well.

IMHO, none of the solutions are good. What is a lesser evil I have no clue - inflation vs. economy vs. energy vs. what remains of the environment. Not to mention short term vs. long term impact of every "solution".
 

Gastec

Posts: 281   +137
You know, when you transfer the production to another country, what will you need to feed them?
I bet same sort of energy.
Truth is, another country might take more sensible approach and feed it with something more "green" like nuclear made electricity, part might be provided by solar etc.
But there are factories there already, you build new factories, and building factories requires power as well.

IMHO, none of the solutions are good. What is a lesser evil I have no clue - inflation vs. economy vs. energy vs. what remains of the environment. Not to mention short term vs. long term impact of every "solution".
Having no clue is not an option! The solution you are looking for is very simple: stop using, stop consuming, or rather stop wasting resources.
 
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Fearghast

Posts: 579   +496
Having no clue is not an option! The solution you are looking for is very simple: stop using, stop consuming.
That certainly is the biggest factor, but considering the modern human nature and relation with ads, self-image, drive for growing economy etc. It would be much harder to crack than "simple" renewable energy :)
 

Gars

Posts: 322   +39
Cheap labor is every ware
china got it more then every1 and that's the problem
India? they got nothing - just labor (2-3 times more then china)
 

RaXelliX

Posts: 64   +47
Pfft 104 farenheit. try living in the midwest as a welder. these people can build a bridge in 3 days but shutdown for this?
Temperatures cannot be compared across the world like that. In some regions buildings are meant to trap heat. So the same temperature there feels worse. Also humidity plays a big role on how bad high temperature feels. "Dry" heat is easier to tolerate compared to "humid" heat.
 

wujj123456

Posts: 79   +49
The comments here are a bit concerning, but perhaps is because of some missing context. These shutdowns don't just affect foreign factories. Local businesses and factories are equally curtailed. It's just that others are not relevant for western world and/or tech so they aren't named.

The heatwave is unprecedented in decades, and just like many states in US, power has to be curtailed when demand exceeds supply. The major difference in China is the way they manage the demand. Any power shortages always only affect business to ensure uninterrupted power for residential use. They are usually scheduled based on demand forecast. That's why you get these orders of business shutdown for long periods in advance. They don't really "cut power" on the day, unless the scheduled shutdowns were not enough, or companies don't comply.

Meanwhile here in US (at least CA), the rotating outages do not separate business from residential lines, and the blackouts are called in real-time. Though I do remember reading there are scheduled shutdowns negotiated with companies as well. I was kinda surprised by this first time honestly, since cutting residential power can have immediate life-threatening implications. On the other hand, such real-time rotating outages would have less impact on business and extracts last bit of supply.