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China, Myanmar, Thailand to study 7,000-MW hydro project

China, Myanmar and Thailand have agreed to study a 7,000-MW Myanmar hydropower project that would be Southeast Asia's largest by generation capacity, the Chinese government and wire services reported.

The $10 billion project would be built on the Salween River in Myanmar over 15 years, China's State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission said in a statement. Companies from the three countries recently signed an accord on the project, wire reports stated.

China Three Gorges Corp., Sinohydro Corp. and China Southern Power Grid Co. will work with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand and the International Group of Entrepreneur Co. in Myanmar on the study, reports indicate.

China is planning to add hydropower capacity in its southern provinces and to help build hydropower projects in neighboring countries, including Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, to meet demand from the region.

Recently, China announced plans to boost its installed hydroelectric power capacity to 300 million kW by 2015 from the current 200 million in an effort to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Government officials told media outlets that such an expansion is needed for China's goal to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 40 to 45 percent by 2020.

In other news, China has been working to dam the Brahmaputra River in Tibet in order to begin construction of a 510-MW hydropower project, regional media reported.

This is the first major dam on the Brahmaputra, and China has called the project a landmark hydropower generation project for Tibet's development.

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