Monday, November 24, 2014

Tibetan mega-dam begins operation

Terra Daily via AFP: China has begun generating electricity from Tibet's biggest ever hydropower project, state-run media reported, the latest dam development on Himalayan rivers which has stoked fears in neighbouring India.

The first generating unit of the 9.6 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) Zangmu Hydropower Station, which stands more than 3,300 metres above sea level, went into operation on Sunday, China's official Xinhua news agency said.

The dam on the Yarlung Zangbo river -- known as the Brahmaputra in India, where it is a major waterway -- will be 116 metres (381 feet) high when completed next year, according to reports.

It will have a total generating capacity of 510,000 kilowatts, Xinhua said, making it the largest dam ever built on the Tibetan plateau.

"The hydropower station will solve Tibet's power shortage, especially in the winter," Xinhua quoted an official from the Tibet Electric Power Co. as saying. India has previously expressed concern about damming the Brahmaputra, one of the largest Himalayan rivers and a lifeline to some of India's remote, farm-dependent northeastern states....

An aerial view of the Brahmaputra River in Tibet, shot by Akarsh Simha, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons 2.0 license 

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