The Chinese government is considering a stoppage of manufacturing production in several cities that will host the 2008 Summer Olympics in order to reduce pollution during the games, according to multiple news sources quoting a research note from the commodities research firm Platts. The report says that Chinese government officials have notified major coal-fired power stations, steel mills, and other heavy polluters that a broad shutdown order will be issued approximately 30 days before the games begin on August 8 and operations will remain halted until the games end on August 24. Approximately 13 gigawatts of electricity production will be stopped, along with significant amounts of steel, cement, iron ore, and papermaking production. It is not known what impact the widespread shutdown will have on the Chinese economy, but without full electricity generation, the country's gap between electricity demand and supply could worsen considerably.
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