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Venezuela expanding electricity rationing to include scheduled power outages nationwide

January 12, 2010 | 11:47 am

The Venezuelan government, already facing power and water problems and a shaky economy, is including scheduled power outages nationwide as part of its ongoing electricity rationing efforts, the state-run news agency reported.

Electricity Minister Angel Rodriguez said the latest energy-saving measures are meant to prevent a power collapse that could occur if water levels in the Guri dam system continue to drop, the Bolivarian News Agency reported. Oil-rich Venezuela relies heavily on hydroelectric power, which has been hurt by drought.

Officials with the state electric utilities in Caracas, the capital, and two other western states today announced plans for four-hour outages every other day, the Associated Press reported.

Venezuela started the year with new government restrictions on power consumption, including a limit on the hours commercial centers may use the electricity grid.

-- Efrain Hernandez Jr.

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