China's Three Gorges Project, the world's biggest hydroelectric plant, helped the country avoid emitting 191.3 million tons of carbon dioxide and 1.16 million tons of sulphur dioxide as at the end of last month, officials said in Shanghai Friday.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the government's top economic planner, said that the plant had generated 203.7 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity since its first generating units began operation in 2003.
Hao Weiping, chief of the power section of the Energy Bureau of the NDRC, said Chinese coal-fired power plants would have burned about 73.35 million tons of coal to produce the same amount of electricity.
The Three Gorges Project will be able to generate 84.7 billion kwh of electricity annually when it is completed at the end of 2008, or the equivalent of 50 million tons of coal, said the China Three Gorges Corporation, the developer and operator of the dam project.
Burning 50 million tons of coal would produce 100 million tons of carbon dioxide, the company said.
The plant is expected to produce 63.7 billion kwh of electricity in 2007, which is equivalent to two-thirds of the electricity consumption of Shanghai, the country's biggest city.
The 22.5-billion-U.S.-dollar project was launched in 1993 in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, China's longest. Its 26 turbo-generators are designed to produce 84.7 billion kwh of electricity a year after its scheduled completion in 2008.
Currently, 19 turbines have been put into operation with a total installed capacity of 13.3 million kilowatts.
(Xinhua News Agency December 22, 2007)