Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) of the US has signed an agreement with China to prepare a master plan for the development of the Han river, the largest tributary of the Yangtze river. TVA’s work is scheduled to begin in July 1998 and will last for 16 months.

The latest agreement stems from an MOU signed by the two parties in 1996, during an economic development and energy conference in Beijing sponsored by TVA and the State of Tennessee. Under the agreement, TVA will be required to: •Develop operating guidelines for an existing large multipurpose reservoir on the Han river.

•Review plans that call for the construction of six additional dams on the river.

•Assess the benefits of operating the six-dam system on an integrated basis for flood control, navigation, water supply, irrigation and power production.

Many of the methods and tools used by TVA in the integrated development and operation of the Tennessee river are known around the world as the TVA model, which will be used on this project. The Chinese will work alongside TVA engineers in the development of the Han river model.

TVA is the US’ largest producer of electricity, and its power system is self-financed. It provides power to large industries and 159 power distributors that serve about eight million customers in seven southeastern states.