China’s Ertan Hydropower Development Corp (EHDC) has begun construction of the 3600MW Jinping 1 hydro plant.

The project, on the Yalong river in the southwestern Sichuan province, will see the river dammed in 2006 with the first unit due to begin generating in 2012. The plant is due for completion in 2014 at a total estimated cost of $3.0B.

The project will comprise a 305m high arch dam, the highest of its kind in the world, before a 15Bm3 reservoir.

China’s State Development and Investment Corporation (SDIC) currently holds a 48% stake in EHDC as does Sichuan Investment Group Corp while power company China Huadian Group Corp holds the remaining equity.

A total 21 hydro power plants with a total capacity of 26,100MW are planned to be built on the Yalong river, all of which will be developed by EHDC.