China starts partial construction of Zangmu Hydropower Station

China has partly commissioned its Zangmu Hydropower Station- largest hydropower station in Tibet, built on Yarlung Zangbo River- local name of Brahmaputra River. The first generating unit of the Zangmu Hydropower Station went into operation. Its reaming five generating units will start operation after completion this project next year i.e. 2015. China is also planning to build similar type of projects on Yarlung Zangbo River.

Key Facts about Zangmu Hydropower Station

  • The Zangmu Dam is a gravity dam currently under construction on the roaring Yarlung Zangbo River.
  • It is located 9 km northwest of Gyaca in Tibet- Autonomous Region of China and 3300 metres above sea level on the “roof of the world”.
  • The purpose of the dam is hydroelectric power production using run-of-the-river technology.
  • It is designed to generate 2.5 billion kilowatt hours of power annually and will have a total installed capacity of 510,000 kilowatts upon completion.

India’s concern over these projects

  • India fears that these projects could restrict the flow of water in the major river in the riparian regions in India and Bangladesh.
  • India also raises concern over these projects as China may control the ability to release the water at times of conflict, hampering flow of Brahmaputra River.
  • However, China has mentioned that these are running river projects and not designed to hold water.



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