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Three units of China's 6,300-MW Longtan begin commercial operation

The first three turbine-generators of the 6,300-MW Longtan hydroelectric project began commercial operation December 26 on the Hongshui River in China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

General Manager Dai Bo of Longtan Hydropower Development Co., a unit of China Datang Corp., said commercial operation began 14 months ahead of schedule, official Xinhua news agency reported.

Longtan, China's third largest hydro project after 22,400-MW Three Gorges (HNN 10/15/07) and 12,600-MW Xiluodu (HNN 11/9/07), has another six units that are to begin operation through 2009. It had been testing the first three units, which started up in May, July, and October. (HNN 6/1/07)

China Datang invested 30 billion renminbi (US$3.75 billion) to build the 216.5-meter-tall dam, a ship lock, and an underground powerhouse. Construction began in 2001 and is to be completed at the end of 2009.

Voith Siemens Hydro Shanghai delivered the first of seven 715-MW Francis turbine runners to the project in 2006. Its consortium partner, Dongfang Electrical Machinery Co. of China, is manufacturing the balance of equipment.

Upon completion, the project is to generate about 18.7 billion kilowatt-hours annually for delivery to eastern Guangxi and to Guangdong Province. The project also is to provide flood control and improved navigation, and is to help combat a salt tide that hinders water usage in the Pearl River Delta.

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