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Development

Construction Begins on Pubuguo Dam

[Source: Interfax: March 31, 2004; www.newssc.org, March 29, 2004. Courtesy of Tibet Justice Center.]

Construction of the Pubuguo Hydropower station, the largest hydropower station on the Dadu River (Gyalrong Gyamo Ngulchu in Tibetan), started on April 1, 2004. The project is expected to inundate an area of 84.14 square kilometers of land that includes 20 counties and townships, 65 villages and 8457 acres of agricultural land near the southeastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau (approx. 103 degrees longitude and 29 degrees latitude).

The total number of displaced people is expected to reach 100,894. Recent media reports express concern over the submergence of Hanyuan County as an area of cultural and historic importance. Hanyuan County is home to people of 17 different "minority nationalities," including Tibetans.

The construction of the Pubuguo Dam marks the beginning of the exploitation of the Dadu River by Guodian Group, one of five major power companies in China. According to Interfax, investment on the project is calculated at RMB 16.651 billion (USD 2.01 billion) with a total installed capacity of 3.3 million KW and a capacity to produce 14.58 billion KW of electricity annually upon completion in 2011.

The multi-purpose project is designed to generate electricity and prevent flooding and silt flow into downstream dams such as the Three Gorges Dam. According to a senior official with the Guodian Dadu River Hydropower Station, the Dadu River will be "sealed up" by December this year to "ensure that the first unit in the project will go into operation in 2008."


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