The latest controversy over the Three Gorges Dam puts the lie to the notion that the advantages of a one-party autocracy trump political gridlock.
(May 27, 2011) When China’s State Council announced there were “urgent problems” with the Three Gorges Dam, Chinese voices – both powerful and common – started to question its role in seemingly unrelated natural disasters, reports Bloomberg.com. In one both dramatic and comical example of a trend towards airing negative views, the popular, nationalist Global Times quoted dam expert, Zhang Boting, who offered this unreassuring gem: “After the construction of the project, there were thousands of minor earthquakes, which actually helped release built-up seismic energy in that area and reduced the possibility of big earthquakes happening in the future.”
(May 25, 2011) Contradicting official claims that the Three Gorges reservoir plays no part in exacerbating the drought in the Yangtze River basin, Ma Jun of the Beijing-based Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, a non-government organization, told Reuters: “Without the Three Gorges Dam, the water level in the Yangtze would not be that low.” Faced with the downstream drought crisis, Three Gorges officials have been ordered to release water, thus hampering their ability to generate power. Added Ma: “Fundamentally there is a conflict between hydropower generation and water supply, irrigation, and navigation.”
(May 19, 2011) Amid power shortages and potential catastrophe, China admits to failings in the Three Gorges Dam. Probe International Fellow Dai Qing responds from Beijing.
(May 19, 2011) The world’s largest hydroelectric project was designed to tame the flood-prone Yangtze River and to generate clean energy. But the water is becoming polluted, and regular landslides are making life near the dam dangerous. Three Gorges dam is “a classic case in which government officials exaggerated the benefits and underestimated the risks,” says Patricia Adams of Probe International.
(May 18, 2011) Water depth at Three Gorges Dam stood at 154.8 meters on Tuesday afternoon.
(May 18, 2011) China’s drought has caused the Three Gorges reservoir level to drop precipitously, crippling the mighty Three Gorges Dam. Shipping on the Yangtze River has now halted, power generation has been compromised, and geological hazards are heightened.
(April 7, 2011) Dai Qing, Chinese investigative journalist and Probe International Fellow, delivered the following speech about the Three Gorges Dam project in November 2010 while on a speaking tour in British Columbia, Canada. In her address, she reports that the problems predicted by dam critics published in her books, “Yangtze! Yangtze!” and “The River Dragon Has Come!,” are now coming true.
(April 1, 2011) It is business as usual for the China Three Gorges Corporation, operator of the world’s largest dam and builder of the Xiangjiaba hydropower project in southwestern China, after 2,000 protesters were dispersed by 1,500 riot police.
(June 3, 2010) A recent restructuring by China’s Yangtze Power Co., the Shanghai-listed subsidiary of the Three Gorges Project Development Corporation, will see the company acquire full ownership of the only profitable part of the controversial dam—the generators—while assuming little-to-none of the environmental and social costs.
(May 27, 2009) China’s Yangtze Power Co., operator of 22,400-MW Three Gorges Dam, is carrying out a 107.5 billion renminbi (US$15.76 billion) restructuring plan that includes acquiring full ownership of the project’s 26 operating units, totaling 18,200 MW.
(May 21, 2009) Shares of the Yangtze Power Company – operator of the Three Gorges dam – shot higher this week after the company announced that it will acquire the remaining 18 turbines at the Three Gorges dam from its parent, China Three Gorges Project Corporation.
(October 31, 2008) China Yangtze Power Co Ltd, operator of the Three Gorges hydroelectric dam, said third quarter net profit fell 14.69 percent year-on-year to 1.93 billion yuan due to a fall in investment income and rising costs.
(October 2, 2008) China’s Xinhua financial network reported on August 6th that China Three Gorges Project Corporation, the country’s largest hydropower operator, is in talks to buy out rival China Water Investment Corporation, according to a report in the Shanghai Securities News (SSN), which cited an unnamed Three Gorges official.
(August 17, 2006) China Yangtze Power Co Ltd, owner of the Three Gorges project, has increased by 38 per cent the price it charges grid companies for electricity.