News / Asia

    China's Environment Ministry Approves Huge Hydro Dam

    A fisherman drives his boat upstream at the junction of the Min and Dadu Rivers near the city of Leshan, Sichuan province, July 22, 2009.
    A fisherman drives his boat upstream at the junction of the Min and Dadu Rivers near the city of Leshan, Sichuan province, July 22, 2009.
    Reuters
    China's environment ministry has given the go-ahead for the construction of what will become the country's tallest hydroelectric dam despite acknowledging it will have an impact on plants and rare fish.

    The dam, with a height of 314 meters (1,030 feet), will serve the Shuangjiangkou hydropower project on the Dadu River in southwestern Sichuan province.

    To be built over 10 years by a subsidiary of state power firm Guodian Group, it is expected to cost 24.68 billion yuan ($4.02 billion) in investment.

    The ministry, in a statement issued late on Tuesday, said an environmental impact assessment had acknowledged that the project would have a negative impact on rare fish and flora and affect protected local nature reserves.

    Developers, it said, had pledged to take "countermeasures'' to mitigate the effects. The project still requires the formal go-ahead from the State Council, China's cabinet.

    China aims to raise the share of non-fossil fuels in its energy mix to 15 percent by 2020, up from 9.4 percent in 2011. Hydropower is expected to make the biggest contribution.

    It has vowed to speed up construction of dams in the 2011-2015 period after slowing it down following the completion of the controversial Three Gorges project in 2006.

    The Three Gorges Dam, which serves the world's biggest hydropower station on the Yangtze river, measures 185 meters.

    The 300-m Nurek dam in Tajikistan in Central Asia is the world's highest, though other taller dams are now under construction. China's tallest dam now, at 292 meters, is the Xiaowan Dam on the Lancang River, also known as the Mekong.

    On completion, the Sichuan project will have a total installed capacity of 20 gigawatts (GW), with annual power generation to exceed 7 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh).

    The government said this year that hydropower capacity was expected to reach 290 GW by 2015, up from 220 GW at the end of 2010. It also said it would begin building a controversial project on the undeveloped Nu River in Yunnan province.

    Guodian was one of a number of state-owned firms criticized by China's national audit office last week for starting work on projects not yet been approved by the central government. The office said by the end of 2011, the company had invested nearly 30 billion yuan in 21 unapproved projects.

    The Huaneng Group, China's biggest power company, was also criticized for launching construction of the Huangdeng hydropower plant before receiving the government's go-ahead. ($1 = 6.1428 Chinese yuan)

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.