China's central government has approved a plan to build two huge hydropower stations with a combined generating capacity of 18.6 million kilowatts, 0.4 million kilowatts more than that of the Three Gorges project, says Zou Guangyan, deputy governor of Sichuan Province.
Compared with previous projects, the Xiluodu and Xiangjiaba hydropower stations, located in the boundary region of southwest China's Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces, feature greater water-flow control, a smaller area submerged and fewer displaced people.
The plan indicates the start of China's developing its hydropower resources on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, which has the richest hydropower resources in the world.
More hydropower stations with a total capacity of nearly 30 million kilowatts would also be built in the region in the next 10to 15 years, Zou said.
The construction of these power stations is a key part of the state's project of transmitting electricity from the resource-rich but undeveloped western regions to the more developed eastern regions.
(Xinhua News Agency October 17, 2002)