Asian bank considers funds to strengthen 109 China dams

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is considering technical assistance for China’s Shandong Province to accelerate strengthening 109 high-risk dams, including some with hydropower.

ADB is considering providing US$500,000 to China’s Ministry of Water Resources for technical assistance to set up a US$32 million program, which eventually would be funded by ADB, to strengthen reservoirs of 15 large and 94 medium-sized high-risk projects. Since 1973, 254 reservoirs have collapsed in Shandong Province, killing 225 people.

If the technical assistance funding is approved, the ministry would procure 10.5 person-months of international consultants and 24.5 person-months of national consultants to prepare the rehabilitation program. Work would include assessment of overall project objectives, detailed assessment of subproject technical design and financial and economic evaluation, and finalized project design.

ADB said the Shandong program is part of the Ministry of Water Resources’ national reservoir strengthening program, advancing work at the local level with central government financial assistance. While nine large and 24 medium-sized projects have been strengthened in Shangdong, in northeastern China, work has been slow due to inadequate funding.

“The proposed project will contribute to integrated water resources management by restoring reservoirs’ functions originally designed for flood control, irrigation, water supply, and hydropower generation, and, therefore, is in line with the priorities of ADB’s water policy in promoting integrated water resources management.”

ADB officials are expected to consider in March whether to approve the technical assistance.

The ADB project officer is Yoshiaki Kobayashi, East Asia Department, Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Division, EARD, Asian Development Bank, P.O. Box 789, 0980 Manila, Philippines; E-mail: yoshikobayashi@adb.org; Internet: www.adb.org.

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