China commissioned the first of four 300MW units at its first-tier Tianshengqiao hydro project on the Honshui river in December 1998, according to the Xinhua state news agency.

The multi-tier project will have 1200MW installed capacity at its first tier by June 2000, plus another 1320MW (6x220MW) at its second by the same date. Four of the smaller second tier turbines have already been commissioned.

The Honshui river marks much of the boundary between Guizhou province and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region in China’s southwest. These two areas, plus Guangdong province, which will consume much of the power, and the central government are financing the yuan10.3B project that includes a ¥19.6B (US$0.2B) loan from Japan.

Two 700km 500kV transmission lines now link Tianshengqiao with Guang-zhou. The first tier is expected to generate 5.2B kWh annually when all four turbines are installed.

Meanwhile in Hunan province the 270MW Lingjian hydro power station on the Yuanshui river has begun operation. The station will generate 1.23B kWh of electricity a year.