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Huge Power Station Due
Another world-class hydroelectric power station, second in size only to the mammoth Three Gorges Power Project, will be built on the middle reaches of the Lancang River.

Construction of the Xiaowan Hydroelectric Power Station will start this year, Yunnan Provincial Governor Li Jiating announced recently.

The new power plant will be the third large power project on the Lancang River, after the 1.5-million-kw one at Manwan and the 1.35-million-kw one at Dachaoshan.

It will have six generating units with a designed capacity of 4.2 million kilowatts.

The major feature of the station will be a 292-meter-high concrete hyperbolic arch dam, which is equivalent to the height of a 100-story skyscraper.

The dam, believed to be the highest dam in the world, will be able to hold 15 billion cubic meters of water, the combined amount of all reservoirs in Yunnan, said Kou Wei, general manager of the Lancang River Water Resources Development Co., Ltd.

Lancang River, which rises in the Tanggula Mountains on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, flows for a total of 4,500 kilometers from Tibet to Xishuang Banna in Yunnan Province, joins the Mekong River, and then flows into Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and other countries.

Six hydroelectric power stations will be built on the middle and lower reaches of the Lancang River this year. The installed capacity of the eight power stations will be 15.55 million kilowatts.

The cost of the Xiaowan power station is estimated at 32 billion yuan (US$3.85 billion), the largest sum spent on a project of this kind in Yunnan in the past 50 years.

Tens of thousands of workers will be needed to build roads, bridges and other auxiliary projects to support the project, Xinhua said.

(Eastday.com.cn 04/12/2001)

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