Archive for 4.2.2 China’s Role in Building Dams Globally

The New Great Walls: A Guide to China’s Overseas Dam Industry

Chinese dam companies and financial institutions are outpacing their competitors in overseas dam contracts. China’s overseas dam industry is building hundreds of dams around the world, particularly in Southeast Asia and Africa, but also in countries like Pakistan and Albania. What can communities impacted by these projects do to protect their rights and advocate for rivers targeted for dams built by China? This guide provides useful information for groups concerned about dam projects in which Chinese companies and financiers are involved.

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

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

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

Sinohydro Projects Overseas

This spreadsheet, downloadable below, contains 203 dam projects the Sinohydro Corporation is involved in outside of China. 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. We welcome corrections and additions. The spreadsheet is an information service which does not give exact figures, but indicates the approximate scale of dam building by Sinohydro around the world.

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

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

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