Jinsha River Dams

By Richard High17 June 2009

The Jinsha River (River of Golden Sands) is the name of the 2300 km-long section of the Yangtze River from Yushu in Qinghai Province to Yibin in Sichuan.

Jinsha River (Upper Yangtze River) Hydropower Projects List

Location: Southwest China (Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces)

Dams/proposed dams listed from downstream to upstream

1. Xiangjiaba Dam

Location: Sichuan/Yunnan (elevation 380 m)

Size: 6 GW (30.7 billion kWh annually); dam height 161 m

Status: under construction

Financiers: Yangtze Power, China Development Bank (CDB), China Construction Bank

Construction: Three Gorges Project Corporation (CTGPC)

Environmental Impact: There is some concern for natural habitats of wild pandas (which has been denied by Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Centre). About CNY 1.46 billion (US$ 184.8 million) has been earmarked by CTGPC for environmental protection.

Resettlement and Social Impact: Estimates range from 85000 to 118000 people from six counties (half in Sichuan, half in Yunnan) who will need to be relocated; already 8000 people have been relocated. Construction is taking place on top of a thermal spring, displacing a thriving Hot Springs resort built a few years ago.

2. Xiluodu Dam

Location: Lower Jinsha River, Sichuan/Yunnan (elevation 610 m)

Size: 12.6 GW; dam height 278 m

Status: under construction since January 2006; in 2005, construction halted because project lacked an Environmental Impact Assessment, but work has resumed. Dam gates closed for the first time on the Jinsha River when Xiluodu Dam gates were closed in November 2007.

Financiers: Yangtze Power, China Development Bank (CDB), China Construction Bank

Cost: CNY 6 billion (about US$ 876.7 million); estimates for Xiangjiaba, Xiluodu, Baihetan and Wudongde range from US$ 3.68 billion to US$ 5.43 billion

Construction: Three Gorges Project Corporation (CTGPC)

Resettlement: 32000 to 50000 people will be displaced.

3. Baihetan Dam

Location: Lower Jinsha River, Sichuan/Yunnan

Size: 12.6 GW; dam height 277 m

Status: to be completed by 2020; currently undergoing site preparation

Financiers: Yangtze Power, China Development Bank, China Construction Bank

Construction: CTGPC

Resettlement: 67000 people will be displaced.

4. Wudongde Dam

Location: Lower Jinsha River, Sichuan/Yunnan

Size: 7.4 GW; dam height 235 m

Status: to be completed by 2020; currently undergoing site preparation

Financiers: Yangtze Power, China Development Bank, China Construction Bank

Construction: CTGPC

Resettlement: 14200 people will be displaced.

5. Guanyingyan Dam

Location: Middle Jinsha River (elevation 1132 m)

Size: 3 GW; dam height 183 m

Financier: Hanergy

Resettlement: 8810 people will be displaced.

6. Ludila Dam

Location: Middle Jinsha River (elevation 1221 m)

Size: 2100 MW; dam height 120 m

Financier: Hanergy

Resettlement: 16900 people will be displaced.

7. Longkaikou Dam

Location: Middle Jinsha River (elevation 1297 m)

Size: 1800 MW; dam height 113 m

Financier: Hanergy

Resettlement: 2000 people will be displaced.

8. Jinganqiao Dam

Location: Yunnan (elevation 1410 m); reservoir abuts Ahai Dam area

Capacity: 465 MW (11.876 billion kWh annually); dam height 156 m

Status: under construction; planned to come online in 2009

Financiers: Hanergy

Construction: Jinsha River Hydropower Development Co., Ltd

Cost: US$ 2.19 billion

Resettlement: 2000 people will be displaced.

9. Ahai Dam

Location: Yunnan (elevation 1504 m)

Capacity: 2.1 GW (or about 9 billion kWh annually); dam height 138 m

Status: under construction; first diversion channel and coffer dam to be operable by January 2009. The dam has yet to receive necessary approval from the State Council. On May 30, 2007, the Yunnan Provincial People's Government issued a public announcement to stop dam construction until effective measures to protect shores and resettled peoples were created, after landslides collapsed the shoreline.

Financiers: Hanergy. China Huadian Corporation, China Huaneng Group, China Datang Corporation, Huarui Investment Group and Yunnan Development Investment Co. Ltd.

Cost: CNY 12.773 billion (US$ million)

Construction: Jinsha River Hydropower Development Co., Ltd

Environmental Impact: A minimal EIA for the Ahai dam was release to the public in November 2007; this constituted the first time an EIA for a dam project had been open to public comment. The EIA states that at least three protected fish species will be impacted. Scenic gorge would be inundated. Unfortunately, comments made on the EIA by International Rivers and Chinese NGOs have not been addressed.

Resettlement and Social Impact: 2400 people will need to be resettled for this dam; project would inundate well preserved historic villages and farmland; could damage Baoshan Village, a 1000 year old Naxi village.

10. Liyuan Dam

Location: Yunnan (elevation 1620 m)

Size: 1.8 - 2 GW; dam height 155 m

Status: site preparation underway including road building and construction of a 231 m bridge; drilling to test rock also occurring near site. Digging for Liyuan water diversion tunnel No.1 began in May 20, 2008 and will be completed in 2009.

Financiers: China Huadian Corporation, China Huaneng Group, China Datang Corporation, Huarui Investment Group and Yunnan Development Investment Co. Ltd.

Construction: Jinsha River Hydropower Development Co., Ltd

Resettlement: 1300 people will be displaced.

Environmental Impact: The dam could impact the Three Parallel Rivers World Heritage Site. The dam also lies on the Sanjian fold system (possible earthquake concerns).

11. Liangjiaren Dam

Location: Yunnan (elevation 1810 m)

Size: 4 GW; dam height 99.5 m

Status: no site preparation had yet occurred as of April 2008.

Construction: Jinsha River Hydropower Development Co., Ltd and Yunnan Hydropower Development Co. Ltd.

Environmental Impact: Could impact Three Parallel Rivers World Heritage Site.

12. Hutiaoxia (Tiger Leaping Gorge) Dam

Location: Yunnan, near Lijiang (elevation 1950 m)

Size: 6 GW; dam height 216 m

Status: dam designed and site surveys have occurred but not under construction as of April 2008. The project was shelved in 2004 after opposition led by local communities together with Greenpeace, Global Earth Village and nine other NGOs in Beijing; a media report in 2007 suggested the project may have been canceled and moved 200 km upstream to an ethnically Tibetan section of the river.

Construction: Yunnan Hydropower Development Co. Ltd.

Environmental Impact: Could impact the Three Parallel Rivers World Heritage Site. 1.3 million ha of land would be submerged. Scientists have stated that major environmental damage would result; scenic gorge popular with tourists would be inundated.

Resettlement/Social Impact: 100000 local mostly Naxi minority farmers would be relocated if original project goes forward; if alternate upstream location selected about 20,000 ethnic Tibetans near Diqing would be displaced. Thousands of cultural heritage sites would be destroyed.

References:

Dore, J and Yu Xiaogang (2004), Yunnan Hydropower Expansion: Update on China's energy industry reforms and the Nu, Lancang and Jinsha hydropower dams, Working Paper from Chiang Mai University's Unit for Social and Environmental Research, and

Green Watershed, 32 pp.

"A Survey of the Rivers," Lijiang County, Accessed 12 Aug 2008, .

Yao Yonghui, Zhang Baiping, Ma Xiaoding, and Ma Peng (2006), "Large-scale Hydroelectric Projects and Mountain Development on the Upper Yangtze River," Mountain Research and Development 26:2, pp109-114.

Coutesy of International Rivers

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