Yangtze Power

Yangtze Power “profits” unhinged from Three Gorges’ spiraling environmental costs

Three Gorges Probe

January 8, 2008

China’s Yangtze Power Company posted a 47 percent rise in “profit” last year, though critics, including Probe International, argue these profits would vanish if the company were forced to pay its share of the project’s rising environmental costs.

China’s Yangtze Power Company, operator of the Three Gorges dam, posted a 47 percent rise in “profit” last year, Reuters reported on January 8.

Using “Chinese accounting standards,” the company reported a 5.3 billion yuan profit, which it attributes to high flows in the Yangtze and a 26 percent increase in electricity sales to 8.7 billion yuan.

Since it was setup in 2003, Yantgze Power has purchased 8 of the 21 turbines in operation at Three Gorges. It plans to purchase all 26 generating units from its parent company, the state-owned China Three Gorges Project Corporation, by 2013.

Critics, including Probe International, argue that Yangtze Power’s profits from Three Gorges would vanish if the company were forced to pay its share of the project’s rising environmental costs.

Last September, senior Chinese officials acknowledged a number of serious environmental problems in the Three Gorges project area which could lead to ‘catastrophe’ if not quickly addressed. Since it began operating in 2003, the US$25 billion dam has triggered deadly landslides and pollution along its 600-kilometre long reservoir which will cost billions of dollars to mitigate.

For background on Yangtze Power, see Probe International’s report Behind China’s Three Gorges Dam

($1=7.75 yuan)

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