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Three Gorges on track

Despite the growing likelihood of a moderate slowing of the Chinese economy in 1999, China Yangtze Three Gorges Project Corporation (YTG) has announced two US$121M corporate bond issues for next year. These will be used to finance the second phase of dam construction and will have three and eight year maturities respectively.

Some 36B yuan has been invested in the project so far, only one billion of which has been as corporate bonds. Nineteen billion yuan has come from the central government Three Gorges construction fund, while the State Development Bank (SDB) has contributed another 14B Yuan.

SDB chairman Chen Yuan told the Asian Wall Street Journal that China’s 1999 gross domestic product growth would ‘very likely’ slip to 7%. However, the massive 18,200MW Three Gorges project is unlikely to be affected.

Central China Power Group’s vice-president Liu Jianxin told the 12th bi-annual Conference of Asia-Pacific Electric Power Supply Industries in Thailand that the first of 700MW units would be commissioned in 2003. All 26 units are scheduled to come on stream by 2009.

By 2010, Three Gorges, Xiaolangdi and Shuibuya projects combined will add 36,000MW of hydro capacity to the region.