China to extend power market reform to cross-region transmission lines

BEIJING, July 26 (Reuters) - China will extend its push to cut power distribution pricing to include transmission lines used to send electricity between regions, the state planner said on Wednesday.

The country has since 2014 reformed the cost of using its 32 provincial grids, which the government says has saved a total of 48 billion yuan ($7.11 billion).

It is now turning its attention to the power lines that connect those networks, Zhang Manying, an inspector in the pricing department of the National Development and Reform Commission, said in a press conference.

"Price reform in the power system is a hard task," said Zhang.

"Our next step will be recalculating the pricing on cross-region grids such as west-east electricity transmission."

He added that pricing would also be reviewed on the myriad local power networks that operate below the provincial level.

China has published two regulatory guides for provincial power pricing in the past two years.

($1 = 6.7556 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Muyu Xu and Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Joseph Radford)