Extreme heat cripples sugar industry and threatens global supply chain

The ace burning converted to China In a furnace this summer, with a profound impact on the industrial powerhouse, which could be a foreshadowing of how further changes from the climate crisis will affect factories around the world. The Asian giant now faces a new threat that could be devastating for an economy already affected by the pandemic and further strain supply chains: The worst heat wave in 60 years.

The rivers have dried up and hydroelectric power is being fed with them. Try to turn on the lights, Provincial governments have called for the closure of factories.

Heartbreaking images show that the Chongqing River Gorge, once full of tourists, is now empty and has reached the gorge. In the city, the water level dropped and 600-year-old Buddhist statues were submerged.

Thus, severe drought and high temperatures have broken records in India Sichuan, a very important industrial enclave with a population of around 84 million. According to provincial authorities, The flow of hydroelectric dams has decreased by 50% compared to the historical average. As in the neighboring province of Hubei, where the Blue River at the outlet of the Three Gorges Dam, the largest in the world, has narrowed considerably.

Yangtze 6,300 km. with the third longest river in the worldProvides drinking water to over 400 million Chinese and is the most important waterway for the Chinese economy. Its river basin covers an area of ​​1,800,000 km, seven times that of the United Kingdom. It is vital for the global supply chain. but this summer Its flow has reached a record level of water scarcityEntire stretches and dozens of tributaries dry up.

Faced with a triple whammy of rising temperatures, high demand for air conditioning and low rainfall since records began in the 1960s, the government of Sichuan, which generates 80% of its electricity from hydropower, has set August 21 as the highest level. Launched to ensure emergency response. energy supply. last week, Ordered businesses operating in 19 of the province’s 21 cities to temporarily paralyze operations In favor of “popular” power supplies rather than industrial users. that the province is a major exporter of energy supplies about a third of its hydroelectric production to other regions during the rainy seasonIt is also a major production center for semiconductors and solar panels, and this electricity rationing has affected the factories of some of the world’s largest electronics companies, such as Foxconn, a supplier to Apple and from Intel.

business impact

In response to provincial demands for energy savings, Toyota announced the temporary closure of its plant in Chengdu, the historic capital of Sichuan province, and suspension of operations until the end of August. Tesla and state-owned SAIC Motor have told the Shanghai government they could face problems maintaining production if the electricity crisis at their suppliers continues to plague the city. Other automotive sectors affected are Geely Auto and Great Wall Motors as well as the chemical and fertilizer industries.

In exchange for electricity rationing Production interrupted in around twenty steelworkswhen Aluminum and zinc smelters have in turn reduced their productionAccording to data provider Shanghai Metals Market.

Tongwei, the world’s largest polysilicon supplier, has closed its major factories due to supply issues, so expect already high polysilicon prices to rise. This region is considered responsible for A sixth of the total industrial production of the Asian giant. This material is also fundamental for the manufacture of solar panelsManufacturers of these modules have moved to the region to be closer to supply and are now temporarily closing, including Ginkgo Solar, GCL Tech and Qingdao Gaos Technology.

China’s industrial heartland is also the mining center of lithium In the country, electric cars are a major component of batteries, so analysts said the stagnation could drive up raw material costs. The factories of the Chinese lithium battery company CATL were affected. The company supplies many electronic industries such as Tesla and Schneider Electric.

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The world’s second largest economy, Red Hot, hit 45 degrees multiple times in dozens of cities. in the southwest of the country, fierce fire They eat the vegetation of the Chongqin mountains. To cool the atmosphere and overwhelm cultures, Beijing is trying to control the sky and weather by sending catalysts into the clouds.

In order to reduce losses in agriculture, the Chinese Ministry of Finance allocated in mid-August 300 million yuan (about 43 million euros) in aid to 13 provincesThe money will be used to buy seeds, pesticides and other materials, while Sichuan officials are also pushing for agricultural insurance to help farmers claim crop losses.

A severe drought has also affected at least 2.2 million hectares of farmland in Hebei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui and Chongqing. in large quantities 780,000 people need this direct help from the government to cope with the situationAccording to the Chinese Ministry of Emergency Management. Potable water has been moved to areas where the residential supply has been completely depleted.

High temperatures in July alone caused direct economic losses of 2.73 billion yuan, affecting 5.5 million people, the Emergencies Ministry reported last week.

Rachel J. Bradford