China hydropower firm plans first downstream dam on Brahmaputra

Venture marks a brand new part within the exploitation of the river with potential ramifications for India

China’s media reported on Sunday that authorities have given the go-ahead for a Chinese language hydropower firm to assemble the primary downstream dam on the decrease reaches of the Brahmaputra river, or Yarlung Zangbo as it’s recognized in Tibet, marking a brand new part in China’s hydropower exploitation of the river with potential ramifications for India.

Additionally learn: Study on China dams brings the Brahmaputra into focus

A report within the Chinese language media stated the State-owned hydropower firm POWERCHINA had final month signed “a strategic cooperation settlement” with the Tibet Autonomous Area (TAR) authorities to “implement hydropower exploitation within the downstream of the Yarlung Zangbo River” as a part of the brand new 5-Yr Plan (2021-2025).

China in 2015 operationalised its first hydropower venture at Zangmu in Tibet, whereas three different dams at Dagu, Jiexu and Jiacha are being developed, all on the higher and center reaches of the river. The report stated this would be the first time the downstream sections of the river can be tapped.

Yan Zhiyong, POWERCHINA’s chairman, advised a convention of the China Society for Hydropower Engineering final week that “there is no such thing as a parallel in historical past” and the downstream reaches of the river provided “a historic alternative for the Chinese language hydropower trade”, the Communist Celebration-run World Occasions newspaper reported.

Additionally learn: China gives go-ahead for three new Brahmaputra dams

The report didn’t point out the situation of POWERCHINA’s deliberate downstream venture, however quoted Mr. Yan as speaking in regards to the explicit potential provided on the “Nice Bend” of the Brahmaputra and on the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon in Medog county, the place the river falls spectacularly over a 2,000 metre-drop and turns sharply to movement throughout the border into Arunachal Pradesh.

He stated this 50-km part alone provided the potential of growing 70 million kWh “which equals greater than three Three Gorges energy stations”. He stated “the 60-million kWh hydropower exploitation on the downstream of the Yarlung Zangbo River might present 300 billion kWh of fresh, renewable and zero-carbon electrical energy yearly” and the venture “will play a big function in realising China’s aim of reaching a carbon emissions peak earlier than 2030 and carbon neutrality in 2060”.

“It’s a venture for nationwide safety, together with water sources and home safety,” he was quoted as saying.

It stays unclear whether or not technical feasibility research for the downstream dams can be permitted, as POWERCHINA shouldn’t be the primary hydropower firm to push for bold dams downstream on the Zangbo.

Additionally learn: China blocks tributary of Brahmaputra to build dam

Chinese language hydropower teams have lengthy campaigned to faucet the “Nice Bend”, however tasks have thus far not taken off over considerations over the technical feasibility within the steep Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon.

India has expressed considerations to China over the 4 dams on the higher and center reaches, although Indian officers have stated the dams aren’t more likely to impression the amount of the Brahmaputra’s flows in India enormously as a result of they’re solely storing water for energy technology and the Brahmaputra shouldn’t be fully depending on upstream flows with an estimated 35% of its basin is in India.

A dam on the Nice Bend, if permitted, would elevate contemporary considerations contemplating its location downstream and simply throughout the border from Arunachal Pradesh.

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