Jinsha River Dams

Jinsha River (Upper Yangtze River) Hydropower Projects List

Location: Southwest China (Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces)

Last update: 15 November 2012

dams/proposed dams listed from downstream to upstream

Baoshan Village, Jinsha (upper Yangtze) River, China
Baoshan Village, Jinsha (upper Yangtze) River, China
Li Hong

1. Xiangjiaba Dam

  • Location: Sichuan/Yunnan (elevation 380 meters)
  • Size: 6.4 GW; dam height 161 meters
  • Status: Completed
  • Financiers: Yangtze Power, China Development Bank (CDB), China Construction Bank
  • Builder: Three Gorges Project Corporation (CTGPC)
  • Environmental Impact: Downstream, the combination of dams, pollution, overfishing and river traffic have decimated fish stocks, wiped out at least one species – the baiji or river dolphin – and left others (like the giant Yangtze sturgeon, the Chinese paddlefish and the finless porpoise) critically endangered. About 1.46 billion yuan (US$184.8 million) has been earmarked by CTGPC for environmental protection. In 2005, the project was suspended for being located in a national rare fish reserve. The problem was "resolved" when the zone's borders were redrawn. On January 2011, the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) announced it would redraw the lines again to make way for Xiaonanhai, further downstream.
  • Resettlement and Social Impact: Estimates range from 85,000 to 118,000 people from six counties (half in Sichuan, half in Yunnan) who will need to be relocated; already 8,000 people have been relocated.

2. Xiluodu Dam

  • Location: Lower Jinsha River, Sichuan/Yunnan (elevation 610 meters)
  • Size: 13.86 GW; dam height 278 meters
  • Status: to be completed in 2014. 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: 6 billion yuan (about US$876.7 million); estimates for Xiangjiaba, Xiluodu, Baihetan and Wudongde range from US$3.68 billion to US$5.43 billion
  • Builders: Three Gorges Project Corporation (CTGPC)
  • Enivronmental Impact: Downstream, the combination of dams, pollution, overfishing and river traffic have decimated fish stocks, wiped out at least one species – the baiji or river dolphin – and left others (like the giant Yangtze sturgeon, the Chinese paddlefish and the finless porpoise) critically endangered. In 2005, the project was suspended because the project lacked an Environmental Impact Assessmentfor and was located in a national rare fish reserve.  The problem was "resolved" when the zone's borders were redrawn. On January 2011, the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) announced it would redraw the lines again to make way for Xiaonanhai, further downstream.
  • Resettlement: 32,000-50,000 people will be displaced.

Image of Xiluodu Dam after completion
Image of Xiluodu Dam after completion
People's Daily Online

3. Baihetan Dam

  • Location: Lower Jinsha River, Sichuan/Yunnan
  • Size: 12.6 GW; dam height 277 meters
  • Status: Under construction; to be completed by 2020.
  • Financiers: Yangtze Power, China Development Bank, China Construction Bank
  • Builder: CTGPC
  • Resettlement: 67,000 people will be displaced.

4. Wudongde Dam

  • Location: Lower Jinsha River, Sichuan/Yunnan
  • Size: 7.4 GW; dam height 235 meters
  • Status: Under construction; to be completed by 2020
  • Financiers: Yangtze Power, China Development Bank, China Construction Bank
  • Builder: CTGPC
  • Resettlement: 14,200 people will be displaced.
    Ahai Dam Construction, Jinsha (Yangtze) River, China
    Ahai Dam Construction, Jinsha (Yangtze) River, China

5. Guanyinyan Dam

  • Location: Middle Jinsha River (elevation 1132 meter)
  • Size: 1.8 GW; dam height 183 meter
  • Status: Under construction
  • Financier: Datang Guanyinyan Hydropower Development Co. Ltd.
  • Resettlement: 8,810 people will be displaced.

6. Ludila Dam

  • Location: Middle Jinsha River (elevation 1221 meters)
  • Size: 2100 MW; dam height 120 meters
  • Status: Under construction. The Ludila, Jinanqiao and Longkaikou projects were shelved by regulators in 2009. The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) ordered the suspensions because construction work had started before environmental impact assessments were validated. The MEP has approved Ludila, though it is still awaiting approval from the NDRC.
  • Construction: Hanergy, Jinsha River Hydropower Development Co., Ltd (China Huadian Corporation, China Huaneng Group, China Datang Corporation, Huarui Investment Group and Yunnan Development Investment Co. Ltd.)
  • Resettlement: 16,900 people will be displaced.

7. Longkaikou Dam

  • Location: Middle Jinsha River (elevation 1297 meters)
  • Size: 1800 MW; dam height 113 meters
  • Status: Under construction. The Ludila, Jinanqiao and Longkaikou projects were shelved by regulators in 2009. The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) ordered the suspensions because construction work had started before environmental impact assessments were validated. The MEP has approved Longkaikou, though it is still awaiting approval from the NDRC.
  • Construction: Hanergy, Jinsha River Hydropower Development Co., Ltd (China Huadian Corporation, China Huaneng Group, China Datang Corporation, Huarui Investment Group and Yunnan Development Investment Co. Ltd.)
  • Resettlement: 2,000 people will be displaced.

8. Jinanqiao Dam

  • Location: Yunnan (elevation 1410 meters); reservoir abuts Ahai Dam area
  • Capacity: 465 MW (11.876 billion kWh annually); dam height 156 meters
  • Status: Completed. The Ludila, Jinanqiao and Longkaikou projects were shelved by regulators in 2009. The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) ordered the suspensions because construction work had started before environmental impact assessments were validated. Currenlty, Jinanqiao has the full backing of the MEP and NDRC.
  • Construction: Hanergy, Jinsha River Hydropower Development Co., Ltd (China Huadian Corporation, China Huaneng Group, China Datang Corporation, Huarui Investment Group and Yunnan Development Investment Co. Ltd.)
  • Cost: US$2.19 billion
  • Resettlement: 2,000 people will be displaced.

9. Ahai Dam

  • Location: Yunnan (elevation 1504 meters)
  • Capacity: 2.1 GW (or about 9 billion kWh annually); dam height 138 meters
  • Status: Under construction; first diversion channel and coffer dam to be operable by January 2009. Approved by NDRC in 2011. 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.
  • Cost: 12.773 billion yuan
  • Construction: Hanergy, Jinsha River Hydropower Development Co., Ltd (China Huadian Corporation, China Huaneng Group, China Datang Corporation, Huarui Investment Group and Yunnan Development Investment 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: 2,400 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 meters)
  • Size: 1.8 - 2 GW; dam height 155 meters
  • Status: Under construction. Digging for Liyuan water diversion tunnel No.1 began in May 20, 2008 and completed in 2009.
  • Construction: Jinsha River Hydropower Development Co., Ltd (China Huadian Corporation, China Huaneng Group, China Datang Corporation, Huarui Investment Group and Yunnan Development Investment Co. Ltd.)
  • Resettlement: 1,300 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 meters)
  • Size: 4 GW; dam height 99.5 meters
  • Status: Planned. 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.

Tiger Leaping Gorge, Jinsha (upper Yangtze) River, China
Tiger Leaping Gorge, Jinsha (upper Yangtze) River, China
Joani Carpenter

12. Hutiaoxia (Tiger Leaping Gorge) Dam

  • Location: Yunnan, near Lijiang (elevation 1950 meters)
  • Size: 6 GW; dam height 216 meters
  • Status: Proposed. 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. Two alternative and smaller dams have been proposed at Qizhong and Tuoding, as well as an alternative Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge Dam farther north. Geological surveys have been done for alternative sites.
  • Builder: Yunnan Hydropower Development Co. Ltd.
  • Environmental Impact: Could impact the Three Parallel Rivers World Heritage Site. 1.3 million hectares 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: 100,000 local mostly Naxi minority farmers would be relocated if original project goes forward; if the alternate upstream location selected about 20,000 ethnic Tibetans near Deqin would be displaced. Thousands of cultural heritage sites would be destroyed.

Upper Yangtze River Mainstream Dams:

1. Xiaonanhai Dam

  • Location: Luohuang Town, Banan District
  • Size: 1.75 GW; dam height 195 meters
  • Status: Proposed
  • Environmental Impact: proposed in a national rare fish reserve. In January 2011, the MEP announced plans to redraw the boundary of the reserve so that it would no longer encompass the area of the proposed dam.

2. Zhuyangxi Dam

  • Location: on the main channel of the Yangtze between Xiangjiaba Dam and Three Gorges.
  • Status: Proposed

3. Shipeng Dam

  • Location: on the main channel of the Yangtze between Xiangjiaba Dam and Three Gorges.
  • Status: Proposed

4. Three Gorges Dam

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.

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