China starts third unit of Three Gorges right bank plant

The third unit of the right bank powerhouse of the 22,400-MW Three Gorges Dam has begun operation, Chinese officials reported.

State news service Xinhua said 700-MW Unit 21 began producing electricity for the grid August 20 after a 72-hour trial. It is the third unit to be commissioned in the right bank plant. (HNN 6/13/07) All 14 units of the left bank plant began operation in September 2005.

All 12 right bank units are to be operating by the end of 2008, a year ahead of schedule. Additionally, work is under way on installation of six more units in an underground powerhouse, which eventually will boost total capacity to 22,400 MW in 2010.

Three Gorges’ primary purpose was put to the test earlier this month as a result of weeks of flooding. Water flowed into its giant Yangtze River reservoir at a rate of 51,000 cubic meters per second. Eighteen sluice gates were opened to release water at 48,000 cms. High water levels forced closure of the ship locks at the dam July 30. (HNN 8/1/07)

China Yangtze to issue US$1 billion in bonds

Three Gorges’ co-operator, Yangtze Power Co., said August 23 it plans to raise 8 billion renminbi (US$1 billion) by issuing bonds. The company plans to raise half the total amount within six months of receiving regulatory approval and another 4 billion renminbi within two years.

Proceeds are to be used to repay loans, boost operating capital, or fund acquisitions, the company said.

Earlier this year, Yangtze Power said it would pay 3.1 billion renminbi (US$409 million) to buy 45 percent of another hydropower generator, Hubei Energy Group. (HNN 2/15/07)

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