China reports first big unit installed at 6,400-MW Xiangjiaba

China Three Gorges Corp. reports it has completed installation of the world’s largest hydro turbine-generator at the 6,400-MW Xiangjiaba hydroelectric project on the Jinsha River in China’s Yunnan Province.

State-run Xinhua news agency said workers were testing the 800-MW Unit 8, with trials to be complete by the end of July. It said the first four units are expected to be commissioned as soon as October.

Alstom reported in 2011 it delivered the first turbine runner weighing 406 tons, with a diameter of 10.5 meters, a height of 4.7 meters, and a nameplate capacity of 812 MW. Alstom won a contract in 2008 for the supply of four 812-MW Francis turbine-generators to Xiangjiaba. The contract included training, supervision of installation, and commissioning.

The estimated 43.4 billion renminbi (US$6.3 billion) project is to be the third largest in China, after 22,500-MW Three Gorges and 13,860-MW Xiluodu.

Construction of the project started in November 2006. The giant hydro projects in western China are part of China’s ambitious West-East transmission plan that intends to ship more clean energy to its affluent, energy-hungry coastal areas.

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