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Major Hydro Project Starts Construction in Sichuan

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A major hydro project on a tributary of the Yangtze River started construction Wednesday in southwestern China's Sichuan Province.

The Tingzikou Hydro Junction Project on the middle reaches of the Jialing River mainly aims at flood prevention, irrigation, water supply and power generation.

The project was listed among the 18 new key projects in 2009 in the Strategy to Develop Western China, as announced by the National Development and Reform Commission in October.

The total investment volume for the project is 15.89 billion yuan (US$2.3 billion). It is expected to be completed in six years and nine months.

The project will include 20 hydropower stations with a total installed capacity of 1.1 million kilowatts and will produce 3 billion kilowatt-hour electricity a year.

"The project is conducive to safeguarding the flood control and water supply, optimizing the power supply, improving the navigation capacity and prompting economy in the area," said Liu Qibao, the Sichuan provincial Party secretary.

The project will affect or inundate 151 villages in 35 towns in Guangyuan City involving more than 20,000 people, said Luo Qiang, the Guangyuan municipal Party secretary.

A total of 255 families have been relocated so far, Luo said.

(Xinhua News Agency November 26, 2009)

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