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Giant Power Transmission Project Benefits All
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Hydro-electric stations in western China are lighting up homes hundreds of kilometers away as the massive west-to-east electricity transmission project comes online.

The project will exploit the abundant hydro-power resources in southwest China's Guizhou, Yunnan and Sichuan provinces and transfer electricity eastward to south, central and north China. Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Beijing, Tianjin and Tangshan will benefit from the power-transmission project.

Yunnan Province, one of the leading power providers in southwest China, transmitted 1.1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity to Guangdong Province, an economic powerhouse in south China, in the first seven months of this year.

Moreover, the traditional pattern of transmitting power only in the wet season has been replaced by regular power transmission throughout the year.

An official with the Yunnan Provincial Power Group estimated its annual transmission of electricity to Guangdong Province to be 3 billion kwhs this year, which is more than the total amount of electricity Yunnan sent to Guangdong in the past five years.

With six rivers running through the province, Yunnan is a major power source in China with 90 million kws of exploitable installed capacity, ranking second in China. The powerful Lancang River will become an energy depot not only for China, but also for southeast Asian countries. When the eight planned hydro-electric power stations are completed built in the middle and lower reaches of the river, the fifth longest in the country, they will generate 73 billion kwhs of electricity annually.

Construction has started on the 4.2-million-kw Xiaowan Hydro-electric Power Station, the country's second largest after the Three Gorges power station on the Yangtze River.

Work on the first phase of the Manwan Hydro-electric Power Station, with an installed capacity of 1.25 million kws, has been completed. Three generating units at the 1.35-million-kw Dachaoshan power plant have gone into operation.

By the end of last year, the installed generating capacity of Yunnan soared to 8.51 million kws, more than the anticipated capacity for 2005.

The province began to transmit power to Guangdong in 1993. However, the annual power transmission averaged 580 million kwhs in the past nine years as a result of irrational structure and poor facilities.

To meet the growing demand for power supply in Guangdong, Yunnan has built an ultrahigh voltage supergrid, a 500-kilovolt power converting station and a 500-kilovolt transmission line. It plans to invest 1.8 billion yuan (US$220 million) to build another 500-kilovolt power transmission and converting project in the near future.

Meanwhile, Sichuan will provide 750 million kilowatt hours of electricity each to Shanghai and Zhejiang this year, in addition to 4.9 billion kilowatt hours to neighboring Chongqing.

(Xinhua News Agency September 13, 2002)

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