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Despite the fact that they have already admitted that endangered plants and rare fish species will be affected by the project, the Chinese environmental authorities have approved plans to construct the world’s tallest dam.
The 314 metre high dam will be built on the Dadu river in south-western Sichuan province, and form part of the Shuangjiangkou hydropower project. Guodian Group, one of China’s five state owned power companies will build the dam, estimated to cost around £2.9 billion over the ten year construction period.
The most powerful hydroelectric dam in the world is the Three Gorges dam on the Yangtze river stands at just 185 metres, and the current tallest dam, the 300 metre high Nurek dam in Tajikistan, will just lose its title.
The environmental authorities stated that “the project will affect the spawning and movement of rare fish species, as well as the growth of endangered plants, including the Chinese yew, which is under first-class state protection.”
To avoid the loss of these species, and reduce the impact on the environment, counter measures, such as “protecting fish habitats in tributaries, building fish ladders and increasing fish breeding and releasing” have been suggested by the environment ministry.
Upon completion, the plant will generate nearly eight billion kWh of energy a year, nearly twice the output of the Hoover dam in the US, from a total capacity of 2GW.
China’s hydropower industry has boomed in recent years as the country has invested heavily in clean forms of energy generation, to try and increase alternative energy’s share of total energy production to 15% by 2020.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com