Asia’s power crisis: Pain and gain

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China and India are suffering blackouts. Japan’s businesses and South Koreans are braced for bigger electricity bills. But Indonesia and Australia are expecting to book tidy profits on booming coal exports. The Straits Times bureaus report on the impact of the surge in oil, natural gas and coal prices across the Asia-Pacific.

Policy and coal shortage key factors in China's power crunch

Late last month, residents in Changling county of Jilin province started receiving notices warning of power cuts. Within days, power was cut at random hours, leaving residents little chance to prepare for these periods.

"Sometimes it lasted hours, sometimes it was the entire day. It was very difficult, especially for those of us with children and elderly family members," said Madam Chen Na, 34.

She is among hundreds of thousands in northern provinces such as Jilin, Liaoning and Heilongjiang who found themselves with an intermittent power supply. This was the result of factors such as ambitious carbon goals, uneven policy implementation, freak weather and rising commodity prices.

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Businesses in Japan feel the pinch of pricier crude amid ongoing energy crisis

A humble mom-and-pop laundry that has been in business since 1935 is considering its first price hike in more than two decades.

The Laundry Shop Kobayashi, in Tokyo's Osaki district, is one of many businesses that are suffering from the twin blows of slow recovery from Covid-19 and an ongoing energy crisis that has sent crude prices surging.

Third-generation owner Fumiaki Kobayashi, 48, told The Straits Times that petrochemicals derived from crude are base components in many of the things he needs to do business, from laundry detergent to the plastic used to make hangers and garment covers.

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High energy prices restrain post-Covid-19...

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