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China to boost Yellow river hydro

Continuing its aggressive pro-hydro stance since publication of the World Commission on Dams’ report in November 2000, China’s National Power Corporation (NPC) announced on 17 January that a newly-formed Yellow River Hydroelectric Development Company (YHD) will build and operate a total of 25 power stations along a 918km section of the river’s upper reaches.

Seven of these projects are either complete or under construction. The full 25 will have a combined installed capacity of 15.8GW off a 1324 m drop in river height between the Longyang and Qingtong gorges. The next project will be built at the Gongbo gorge.

YHD is a partnership between the northwestern Shaanxi, Qinghai and Gansu provinces, the Ningxia Hui autonomous region and NPC. The area is now the focus of aggressive new development activities, partly to decrease inequalities between it and the wealthier eastern seaboard and partly to develop its energy resources for use in the east.