BEIJING, July 3 China's Xiluodu hydropower
station, the country's second largest in terms of capacity, went
into full operation this week after its 18th and final
generating unit was completed, the project operator said in a
notice on Wednesday.
The Xiluodu facility, built by the state-owned China Three
Gorges Project Corporation (CTGPC) on the upstream segment of
the Yangtze river in the southwestern Chinese provinces of
Yunnan and Sichuan, has a total generating capacity of 13.86
gigawatts (GW), second only to the Three Gorges Project itself.
CTGPC said the project would produce an average of 57
billion kilowatt-hours per year and would supply eastern and
southeastern regions of China through long-distance power lines.
The plant, which began construction in 2005, was partly
designed to reduce the volumes of silt flowing down the Yangtze
and threatening to disrupt operations at the flagship Three
Gorges Dam. It began generating power in July last year.
China's third biggest plant, the Xiangjiaba, also built by
CTGPC, is expected to be completed this month, while the fourth
largest, the Nuozhadu, went into full operation last week.
Despite the huge financial, social and environmental costs
arising from large-scale dams and reservoirs, China has vowed to
step up construction as it bids to reduce the share of coal in
its total energy mix and tackle a major source of pollution.
(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Joseph Radford)