U.S. Water News Online
SHANGHAI, China -- The Chinese government has ordered a
halt to construction at 30 big construction projects, including two
at the massive Three Gorges Dam, due to alleged violations of
environmental protection regulations and other concerns.
Twenty-six of the projects are power plants being planned in 12
different provinces, part of a rush to boost the nation's generating
capacity amid severe electricity shortages, many of them expansions
of existing coal-fired plants.
But others are new projects. One is a cardboard factory. Two are
roads, including a section of a highway meant to stretch all the way
from Tibet in the far southwest to China's northeastern border with
Many of the projects had not complied with requirements for
environmental impact assessments or other authorizations, the State
Environmental Protection Administration said on its Web site in
ordering a work stoppage.
The administration official who announced the decision said some
projects might be allowed to resume but that others would be
Late last year, the government said it was stepping up controls on
investment in power plants, saying many were being launched without
legal approvals. It estimated the capacity of unauthorized power
plants under construction at 120,000 megawatts, or about 30 times
current national generating capacity.
Three of the largest projects stopped are under the aegis of the
Three Gorges Project Development Corp., the company responsible for
constructing the Three Gorges Dam along the Yangtze River.
Two are auxiliary power facilities connected with the dam, the
world's largest hydropower project, while the third, on the
Jinshajiang River, was part of a massive plan to develop the
hydropower resources of the upper Yangtze.
Known as the Xiluodu Dam, the Jinshajiang project is part of what
is being billed by China as a "second Three Gorges."
It was unclear if the suspension of construction pending approval
of the Jinshajiang project's paperwork would deter plans for Xiluodu.
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