|China Consortium Starts Work On Myanmar Hydroelectric Project|
|Wednesday, 24 March 2010 19:28|
BEIJING -(Dow Jones)- Chinese state-owned enterprises have set up a consortium to build a $9 billion, 7.1-gigawatt hydropower station across Myanmar's Salween River, a Chinese government agency said on its Web site.
China's State Asset Supervision and Administration Commission said the dam in Myanmar would be jointly developed by China, Myanmar, and Thailand.
The Chinese consortium includes China Three Gorges Corp., Sinohydro Corp., and China Southern Power Grid. The three companies have started work on the project, the commission said on its web site.
Upon completion, the hydropower station will be the largest in Southeast Asia by installed capacity.
The three Chinese companies, which first signed an agreement to cooperate on the project in November 2009, are proceeding with the development plans.
The commission didn't say whether the electricity produced by the dam would all be used in Myanmar, or if some would go to China.
China needs power and wants to reduce its carbon emissions, and it sees hydropower as a plentiful resource.
According to a report by China's state-run Xinhua news agency, the country will be revising its hydropower target for 2020 to 270 gigawatts, 37% above an earlier target of 197 GW.
Myanmar's military government is planning up to five big dams along the Salween to supply power to China and Thailand, and has stepped up attacks on tribal groups in the area, mostly Kokang, Shan and Karen, according to reports in Thai media and on the Web sites of activists monitoring dam development in the area.
The areas of the Upper Salween to be developed by the Chinese were secured last year in a series of Myanmar government offensives against the Kokang in northern Shan State, according to an Oct. 19, 2009, report on www.salweenwatch.org.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
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