The world's largest hydroelectric project is expected to become
a source of aid for people who have had to move to make way for its
The Three Gorges hydro-power project will divert some of the
cash earned from generating electricity to helping resettled
residents, said Chongqing Vice Mayor Huang Qifan yesterday at the
annual conference of the Chinese Economists Society held between
June 24 and 27 in Chongqing.
By 2009, when the project is due to be finished, around 1.13
million people -- 85 percent of them from Chongqing and the rest
Province -- would have been relocated.
The huge reservoir will flow over their homes, fields and
factories in an area covering 632 square kilometers, Huang
"The central government has allocated 60 billion yuan (US$7.2
billion) to move residents," Huang added. "But it is just as
important that we try to ensure that resettled people can maintain
Huang did not specify the amount of electricity sales to be
earmarked for resettled residents. But he said the amount of cash
allocated last year was 200 million yuan (US$24 million) and will
continue to surge as more turbines fire up at the Three Gorges
The dam generated 39.1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity
last year, according to Li Yong'an, president of the China Three
Gorges Project Corp. It will pump out 84.7 billion kilowatt-hours a
year when 26 generators are operational in 2009.
By then, up to 700 million yuan (US$84 million) is expected to
be paid out annually from power sales to subsidize relocated
people, providing training and helping them launch labor-intensive
firms, Huang said.
He also said the central government has set up a special
foundation to strengthen industrial development for resettled
Until 2010, 500 million yuan (US$60 million) will be given each
year to needy enterprises operating in resettled areas, he
He added that Chongqing will allocate the funds to both public
and private enterprises.
Enterprises in resettled areas will be exempt from customs
tariffs if they import foreign equipment, a preferential policy
available only in some coastal special economic zones, he said.
The measures will aim to help reduce unemployment in resettled
areas from around 15 percent now to 6 percent in three to four
years, he said.
The vice-mayor also said Chongqing has laid out detailed plans
to improve and protect the environment in resettled areas.
Huang said Chongqing is gearing up for the Fifth Asia-Pacific
Cities Summit, to be held from October 11 to 14.
(China Daily June 27, 2005)