The local government in central China's Jiangxi province will tighten curbs on energy-guzzlers by charging higher electricity prices, amid a national drive for energy-saving and energy efficiency in the world's top energy consuming country.

Jiangxi will raise power prices by 0.1 yuan per kilowatt hour, or more than 10 percent, from Wednesday for the first batch of 40 small steel and cement makers, a local government official said.

We will certainly have a second and third batch, said the official who has direct knowledge of the campaign.

The new prices, as the first phase, will be effective only until the end of this year, as the government has planned high utility charges phase by phase under an industry policy of adjusting (economic) structure, changing (development) mode and improving (economic) level, he said.

Power consumption by the 40 firms accounts for about 3 percent of Jiangxi's total, according to the official.

We have been struggling to make ends meet these days, and we may have to shut down operations because the additional charge will add more than 100 yuan of cost for each tonne of our products, said an executive with a steel maker that has been included in the first batch.

We are one of the major fiscal revenue contributors and employers in our city, I think the government should have culled many of those much smaller guys before turning to us, the executive said, declining to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue.