China’s coal industry, electricity providers and government agencies have been ordered to ensure domestic coal supplies remain steady in the face of a national power crisis, AFP reported. In issuing the order, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) was responding to concerns expressed by the country’s largest electricity supplier, State Grid Corp. It is claimed that the national coal stockpile has dropped sharply as harsh winter weather drives up already strong energy demand. According to State Grid Corp, the stockpile stood at 17.7 million metric tons on January 20, down more than 40% year-on-year. This equates to about an eight-day supply. The NDRC said the government’s campaign to close unsafe and illegal coal mines was partly responsible for the fall in supply while poor weather conditions have restricted coal deliveries. Coal-fired power plants account for about 70% of China’s electricity needs.