Construction of the Longtan Hydropower Plant, China's second largest hydropower plant after the Three Gorges Project, began in Nanning Sunday.
Situated on the Hongshui River in southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the Longtan hydropower project is designed to utilize the rich hydro-electric resources of the river.
With a total investment of 24.3 billion yuan, the station is designed to have a combined installed capacity of 5.4 million kw, and will be able to generate 18.7 billion kwh of electricity annually.
Upon completion in 2009, one fifth of the electricity generated by the plant will be transmitted to economically developed Guangdong Province.
In accordance with the construction plan, in 2003 water will be diverted from the mainstream of the river. The first generator at the hydropower project will come on stream in June 2007.
The Longtan hydropower station will be a key part of the national power grid, and play an important role in the country's drive to deliver electricity from the resource-rich western regions to the economically developed eastern areas, said Pan Jiazheng, a leading hydropower expert and vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
In addition, the project will promote local economic development and benefit 10 million people who live in poverty- stricken areas of Guangxi and Guizhou Province.
(Xinhua News Agency 07/01/2001)