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Chamdo Three Rivers Area: 25 Hydropower Stations to be Built

August 14, 2011

(This article originally appeared in January on the China Tibet News
website and has been translated by Green Earth Volunteers.)

Three Rivers Area: 25 Cascade Hydropower Stations to be Built
18 January 2011


Qamdo possesses abundant hydro and mineral resources. At the Fifth Forum
on Work in Tibet, the central government announced that further efforts
will be devoted towards turning Qamdo into a base for energy substitutes
and non-ferrous metals. Qamdo's hydropower resource reserves are
estimated to be 40,460 megawatts of which nearly 280 megawatts will be
utilized by the end of the 11th Five-year Plan.

Wujin Pingcuo [Ugyen Phuntsok], a deputy to the People's Congress of the autonomous
region and deputy secretary of the Qamdo Administrative Office, said
that 25 cascade power stations will be built in accordance with the
preliminary plan to develop hydro resources in Three Rivers area. At
present, initial exploration of seven potential sites has been
completed, and three cascade power stations in Yebatan, Lawa, and
Suwalong are in the pre-feasibility study phase. The ultimate goal of
the project is to exploit eastern Tibet's non-ferrous metals and also
establish a national production base for energy substitutes for the
"west-to-east electricity transmission program" by the end of 13th
Five-year Plan

Hydro Resources Development Finishes Initial Exploration for Seven
Cascade Hydropower Stations

Hydropower resources reserves in Qamdo are estimated to be 40,460
megawatts, of which 280 megawatts will be put into use by the end of the
11th Five-year Plan period.

"The Guoduo hydropower station is a key hydropower project for the
development of Tibet and was approved by the State Council in the 11th
Five-year Plan period. As the second cascade hydropower station built on
Zhaqu stretch of the upper reaches of the Langcang River, the facility�s
installed capacity is 165 megawatts with a static total investment of
2.6 billion. It is currently the largest hydropower station built in
Qamdo," said Wujin. According to the preliminary hydro resource
development plan, 25 cascade hydropower stations will be constructed,
many of which have larger planned investment and installed capacity than
the Guoduo Hydropower Station.

At present, initial work on the development of hydro resources in the
Three Rivers area has preceded smoothly. For instance, planning for the
Zangchuan segment in the upper reach of Jinsha River as well as the
environmental assessment have been completed. The initial exploration
phase for seven cascade hydropower stations is finished, with three
cascade power stations in Yebatan, Lawa, and Suwalong in the
pre-feasibility study phase. The hydropower development plan for the
Tibet stretch of the upper reaches of the Lancang River is ready for
review, and pre-feasibility studies for three cascade hydropower
stations in Gushui, Rumei, and Cege have already been initiated. The
hydropower development plan and environmental assessment report for the
Tibetan stretch of the Nu River will be finished this year and the
pre-feasibility study for the cascade projects in Emi and the Nu river
bridge have already begun.

Wujin also said at the Fifth Forum on Work in Tibet that the central
government is planning additional efforts towards developing Qamdo into
a production base for energy substitutes and non-ferrous metals. Baye
Power Station Beach, Lawa Power Station and Suwalong Power Station on
the Jinsha River, Rumei Power Station and Gushui Power Station on the
Lancang River, as well as Guoduo Power Station on the Zhaqu River are
all included in the in the 12th Five-year Plan's national plan for
energy development. This provides a high level of political support for
accelerated hydro resource development in the Three Rivers area.

Several key power stations will be built in the Jinsha, Lancang, and Nu
Rivers during the period covered by the 12th Five-year Plan, with an
overall installed capacity of more than 5,000 megawatts as the eventual
goal. Moreover, additional objectives include enhancement of the
operational capacity to more than 5,000 megawatts and a planned
installed capacity of more than 10,000 megawatts by the end of 13th
Five-year Plan. The goal of this project is to create an energy
production base for the West-to-East Electricity Transmission Program.
Further efforts will be made to expand   electricity transmission
capacity to more than 2,000 megawatts by 2020, 5,000-10,000 megawatts by
2025, and 18,000 megawatts with an overall installed capacity of 10,000
megawatts by 2030. Additionally, the main power transmission grid within
Qamdo will be periodically upgraded and the Tibet-China transmission
grid will be similarly improved. Achievement of these goals will enhance
hydropower�s importance as a key industry in Qamdo.

Non-Ferrous Mineral Resources Development to Become a Key Industry in
Eastern Tibet

Qamdo possesses a wide variety of mineral resources; gold, silver, and
iron are the most important exploitable resources with nearly a hundred
categories. The main lodes, or undeveloped metal deposits, that have
been discovered are of 6 categories with 52 types and altogether 714
mines.Identified copper reserves are estimated at 10.34 million tons,
and lead and zinc reserves are approximately 4 million tons.

According to Wujin Pingcuo, the Yulong copper mine currently under
development has identified reserves of more than 6.5 million tons and
expected reserves of more than 10 million tons. This single copper mine
is the largest in China and the second largest in Asia. Exploitation of
this resource could ease supply pressures on the domestic copper market
and promote Qamdo�s economic and social development.

"Integrated planning and development of Qamdo�s mineral resources will
occur under the timeframe allotted by the 12th Five-year Plan.
Particular attention will be paid to the comprehensive development of
the Yulong copper mine and the Kamaduoling magnesium and coal reserves.
The goal is that by the end of the plan�s timeframe a mine with annual
copper, magnesia, and coal production of over 0.1 million respectively
and annual iron ore sales of 1 million tons will be complete. By the end
of the 13th Five-year Plan period, a non-ferrous metal industry in
eastern Qamdo will be roughly established," said Wujin Pingcuo. At the
same time, supporting facilities, high-speed transportation systems and
energy technology facilities will be similarly improved.


Translator: BAO Lan

Proofreader: Brendan Ebner

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