China operates first phase of 6,300-MW Longtan

China has begun full operation of the first, 4,900-MW, phase of the 6,300-MW Longtan hydroelectric project, its third largest hydro project, official Xinhua news agency reported.

Construction of the first phase, consisting of seven turbine-generators of 700 MW each, started in 2001 on the Hongshui River in China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (HNN 9/9/08) The first generator began operation in 2007.

Full operation of the first phase began December 26. The plant will achieve its total 6,300-MW capacity after another two generators are completed, the report said.

China Datang invested 30 billion renminbi (US$4.38 billion) to build the 216.5-meter-tall dam, a ship lock, and an underground powerhouse. Construction 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.

With the addition of Longtan, generating capacity of China Datang Corp., the parent of Datang Power, topped 80,000 MW, rivaling Huaneng Group, parent of Huaneng, China's largest power generating firm. Datang's hydropower capacity as a result reached 13,340 MW, the largest among China's five major power generating groups.

Xinhua reported more than 80,000 residents in 10 counties in Guangxi region and neighboring Guizhou Province were relocated for Longtan.

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