21 Jan 2002 – China has confirmed its intention to build eight hydroelectric power stations at the middle and lower reaches of the Lancang River in southwest China, the fifth longest in the country, which combined will have a substantial installed capacity in the region of 15 550 MW.

The announcement was made by China State Power Corporation and Yunnan Provincial Government in the provincial capital of Kunming at a news conference on Friday.

The eight hydroelectric power stations, with Xiaowan and Nuozhadu at the centre, will generate 74.1 TWh annually. At present, the Manwan Hydroelectric Power Station, with an installed capacity of 1250 MW, has been built. The first generating unit of the 1350 MW Dachaoshan power plant has gone into operation.

Work on the Xiaowan Hydroelectric Power Station, which is being built on the middle reaches of the river was due to commence last year but will start soon. Preparations for other power plants are well underway.

The Lancang River, which rises in the Tanggula Mountains on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, flows for a total of 4500 km from Tibet to Xishuang Banna in Yunnan Province, joins the Mekong River, and then flows into Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and other countries.