Archive for 4.2 International Rivers Reports

Cambodia’s Hydropower Development and China’s Involvement

Cambodia is on the threshold of committing to an extensive domestic hydropower development program, financed with the support of the Chinese government and facilitated through the technical expertise of Chinese construction companies. The Cambodian government has prioritized access to cheap and reliable electricity to sustain its economic development, yet as a result of decades of fighting and instability, Cambodia’s electricity infrastructure remains rudimentary and the cost of electricity amongst the highest in the world. In response, the Cambodian government plans to prioritize the exploitation of Cambodia’s hydropower resources together with the construction of a network of high-voltage transmission lines that would connect remote hydropower stations to urban centers and also facilitate power imports from Thailand and Vietnam. (Note: the English language part of this document starts on p12.)

4 Hydropower, 4.2 International Rivers Reports, 4.2.2 China’s Role in Building Dams Globally

China Overseas Dams List

This spreadsheet lists dam projects with various types of Chinese involvement. It includes projects which are developed or funded by Chinese institutions, or for which Chinese companies have won major contracts. For some of the projects, only a memorandum of understanding has been signed. Others are currently being studied regarding their feasibility or are under construction. Yet others have already been completed. The spreadsheet is based on media reports, and the sources of information are indicated. In some cases, we have double-checked the information, but we are not able to do this comprehensively, and cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information. Please be aware that not all entries in the database may be up to date. While some projects on the list may not go forward, others may be missing. The spreadsheet is an information service which does not give exact figures, but indicates the approximate scale of Chinese dam building around the world.

4 Hydropower, 4.2 International Rivers Reports, 4.2.2 China’s Role in Building Dams Globally

China’s Three Gorges Dam: A Model of the Past

The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River is the world’s largest and most controversial hydropower project. The 660 kilometer-long reservoir displaced 1.3 million people and is wreaking havoc on the environment. The reservoir was scheduled to reach its final height in 2010, but many of its impacts are only now becoming apparent. China will deal with the project’s legacy for generations to come. As the project has been completed, International Rivers has published an updated factsheet which summarizes its legacy and recommendations for the future.  It has also published a slideshow, Three Gorges Dam: Through the Lens of the Artist, which illustrates the impacts of the Three Gorges Dam through music, photography and painting. http://www.internationalrivers.org/resources/three-gorges-dam-through-the-lens-of-the-artist-3524

4 Hydropower, 4.2 International Rivers Reports, 4.2.1 Dams in China

China’s Upper Mekong Dams Endanger Millions Downstream

This 2002 Fact Sheet describes China’s plans to dam the Mekong River and the expected impacts to millions of people living downstream.

4 Hydropower, 4.2 International Rivers Reports, 4.2.1 Dams in China

China’s Nu River Dam Projects Threaten Magnificent World Heritage Site

Known as the Salween River in Burma and Thailand, the Nu River stretches over 3,200 kilometers from its origins on the Tibetan Plateau to its delta at the Andaman Sea in Burma. It is the second longest river in Southeast Asia and is one of only two undammed rivers in China. Yet the Chinese government has plans to build up to 13 dams on one of China’s last free-flowing rivers.

4 Hydropower, 4.2 International Rivers Reports, 4.2.1 Dams in China

Chinese Dam Builders: Going Overseas

Over the past five years, the appetite for large hydropower projects by South-east Asian and African countries has increased significantly and created an opportunity for Chinese companies, supported by Chinese government loans to become involved in international dam building. China’s state owned Sinohydro Corporation estimated to have as much as a 50 per cent share of the international market.

4 Hydropower, 4.2 International Rivers Reports, 4.2.2 China’s Role in Building Dams Globally

Chinese Dams in Africa

Chinese corporations, financial institutions, and the government are involved in billions of dollars worth of large dams in Africa. Civil society and dam-affected peoples’ movements are concerned that China’s own poor record on protecting human rights and the environment could mean trouble for African rivers now targeted for Chinese-built large dams.

4 Hydropower, 4.2 International Rivers Reports, 4.2.2 China’s Role in Building Dams Globally

Dams Built by China

3 pages of links to many detailed case studies in Africa and Asia

4 Hydropower, 4.2 International Rivers Reports, 4.2.2 China’s Role in Building Dams Globally

Failed Mechanism: How the CDM is subsidizing hydro developers and harming the Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is set to provide massive subsidies to hydropower developers while increasing greenhouse gas emissions, according to an investigation by International Rivers. As of November 1, 2007, 654 hydro projects had received or applied to receive carbon credits from the CDM. If approved, these credits would provide hydro developers with a windfall of around a billion dollars each year. Hydro is now the most common technology in the CDM, representing a quarter of all projects in the project pipeline. International Rivers’ report, “Failed Mechanism: How the CDM is subsidizing hydro developers and harming the Kyoto Protocol,” was released on December 2, 2007, at the UN climate negotiations in Bali. “The CDM is blindly subsidizing the destruction of rivers, while the dams it supports are helping destroy the environmental integrity of the CDM,” says report author Barbara Haya, a consultant for International Rivers.

4 Hydropower, 4.2 International Rivers Reports, 4.2.2 China’s Role in Building Dams Globally

Navigation Project Threatens, Livelihoods, Ecosystem

The Upper Mekong Navigation Improvement Project, funded by the Chinese government, is part of a grand scheme to allow large ships to freely navigate from Simao, China to Luang Prabang in Laos. The first stage of the project would destroy 11 major rapids and 10 scattered reefs along a 331-kilometer section of the Mekong from the China-Burma border to Ban Houayxai in Laos. Two rapids have already been blasted along the Lao-Burma border. The second and third stages would involve further channelization of the river. This paper focuses on the impacts of the first stage of the project.

4 Hydropower, 4.2 International Rivers Reports, 4.2.1 Dams in China