A dozen new hydropower plants, with a combined installed capacity totaling 90.2 million kilowatts, will be built on the upper Yangtze River catchment area in the next 20 years, a hydropower development official has said.
The projects will be built on the upper Yangtze stretch known as the Jinsha River, and the Yalong and Dadu Rivers, two tributaries of the Yangtze, the longest river of China, said Cao Guangjing, deputy general manager of the China Three Gorges Project Development Corporation.
Cao said the combined installed capacity of the planned hydropower plants was almost five times that of the massive Three Gorges project, the world's largest hydropower project expected to be completed on the middle reaches of the Yangtze in 2008, one year ahead of schedule.
The installed capacity of each hydropower plant planned to be built on the Jinsha, Yalong and Dadu ranged from one million to 10 million kilowatts.
Construction of the Xiluodu and Xiangjiaba hydropower plants with a combined installed capacity of 18.6 million kilowatts has already begun on the Jinsha River.
Preparations have begun for building a 3.3 million kilowatt hydropower station on the Dadu River and another two power stations with combined installed capacity of eight million kilowatts on the Yalong River.
Sichuan Province, through which the three rivers flow, would be able to send 187.9 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity to eastern China regions to relieve shortages.
China boasts the greatest hydropower resources in the world, with a theoretical potential of 680 million kilowatts.
(Xinhua News Agency June 13, 2006)