Hydropower Stations Dot Yangtze River
Nov 27, 2006 - Xinhua
A thousand kilometers upstream from the Three Gorges
Project, China continues to throw up hydropower stations
on the Yangtze.
Construction began Sunday on the 6-million kw Xiangjiaba
hydropower facility, the second on this section of
the Yangtze after earthworks began on the Xiluodu
project last year.
The section of the Yangtze that flows between Yushu
in Qinghai Province and Yibin in Sichuan
Provinceis often called the Jinsha River and,
before long, it will be dotted with hydropower developments.
Jinsha means golden sand in Chinese, and the Jinsha
River is said to have produced "golden sand" since
Addressing a ceremony to mark the start of construction
on Sunday, Chinese Vice Premier Zeng
Peiyan emphasized the need to consider all aspects
of the Xiangjiaba development, including its impact
on sustainable development.
Hydroelectric projects need to be managed in an orderly
manner, residents forced to relocate need to be properly
looked after, the environment needs to be protected
and thought given to preventing and controlling natural
disasters, said Zeng.
He reminded developers that quality and safety are
fundamental principles in hydropower developments.
Zeng said more use should be made of modern
technology in these kinds of project.
Zhang Guobao, vice minister of the National Development
and Reform Commission, said the Xiangjiaba and Xiluodu
projects would help the nation exploit the rich hydroelectric
resources on the Jinsha River.
The China Yangtze River Three Gorges Project Development
Corporation has plans to build 22 more hydropower
stations on the Yangtze, including two more -- Baihetan
and Wudongde hydropower stations -- on the lower reaches
of the Jinsha River section.
According to Li Yong'an, general manager of the China
Yangtze River Three Gorges Project Development Corporation,
developer of all the projects, a feasibility study
for the 12 million kw Baihetan hydropower station
has been completed and approved by experts. Work has
also started on a feasibility study for the Wudongde
Construction of the two hydropower stations is expected
to start in 2009 and be completed by 2020.
The four hydropower stations will have a combined
capacity of 38.5 million kw upon completion, said
Li, but the potential hydroelectric capacity of this
2,300-km section of the Yangtze is estimated at 112
Workers will start to dam the Jinsha River in 2008.
The Xiangjiaba hydropower station -- located near
Yibin -- will displace 88,000 residents from six
counties in southwest China's Yunnan and Sichuan provinces.
Some 8,000 people have already been resettled.
Budgeted to cost 43.4 billion yuan (about US$5.43
billion), it will be completed in 2015 and will be
able to generate 30.7 billion kw/hour of electricity
In addition to providing power, the project will
also play a role in flood control, farmland irrigation,
will improve navigation and have a positive effect
on the environment, according to Li.
Electricity generated by hydropower stations on the
Jinsha River will mainly be sold to China's eastern,
southern and central regions.
Statistics provided by the Chinese Ministry of Water
Resources show that Chinese rivers could generate
540 million kw of hydroelectric power capacity. Currently,
only one fifth of the total is being exploited, as
compared with three fifths in developed nations.
Wang Shucheng, Minister of Water Resources, insists
that China will make vigorous efforts to tap its rich
hydroelectric resources. By 2020, the country will
have tapped 46 percent of its hydropower resources
and raised capacity to 250 million kw.