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Third-largest Hydropower Plant Finishes Dam Building

Construction has been finished on the dam at the Longtan Hydropower Project, the third-largest project of its type in China, the project manager said on Tuesday.

Workers poured 7.36 million cubic meters of concrete into the main wall of the project, completing the 216.5-meter high, 832-meter long dam early this month. The first batch of concrete was poured in August 2004.

The concrete placement of the dam's main section was completed eight months ahead of schedule, which would enable the dam to start its role in power generation, flood control and shipping improvement this year, said Daibo, general manager of the Longtan Hydropower Development Co. of China Datang Corporation (CDT).

Located on the Hongshui River, a major tributary of the Pearl River in the southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the Longtan project was a key component of the government's campaign to develop the western regions and bring electricity to the energy-demanding eastern and coastal areas.

With an installed capacity of 6.3 million kilowatts, the 30 billion yuan (US$4.2 billion) project is China's third-largest hydropower project, after the Three Gorges Project built on the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and the Xiluodu hydropower project on the Jinsha River, a Yangtze tributary.

Three generators of the plant went into operation last year; the other six are to start generating power in 2009.

Construction began in July 2001 and was scheduled to finish at the end of 2009. It would be capable of generating 18.7 billion kwh of electricity annually upon completion.

(Xinhua News Agency March 12, 2008)

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