Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Safety concerns at huge China dam project: auditor

Terra Daily via Agence France-Presse: Developers building one of the world's biggest hydropower projects in southwest China are taking dangerous shortcuts, state media reported Tuesday, citing the national auditor. Alarm bells started ringing after builders brought forward their timeframe to finish the Xiluodu dam by more than two years, the National Audit Office said in a report on the project, according to the China Daily newspaper.

"The quickened timeline increased the risks and difficulties, and added to the cost," the report said. Budget costs were also out of control and the developers had illegally collected nearly 10 million yuan (1.46 million dollars) in unauthorised fees, the China Daily cited the report as saying, without giving further details.

The Xiluodu dam, being built along the upper reaches of the Yangtze River on the borders of mountainous Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, is expected to be the world's third biggest hydropower project.

With the new timeline, construction is expected to be finished by 2013, the China Daily reported. However plans continue to change, with developers last month deciding to raise the height of the dam from 278 metres (917 feet) to 285.5 metres.

The construction director of the project, Hong Wenhao, told the China Daily that the auditor's report "overrated the problem" and that there were no safety issues to be concerned about….

The upper reaches of the Yangtze River, shot by Peter Morgan, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

No comments: