While attention is focussed on the Three Gorges project, Chinese state media has announced that a further 100 new hydroelectric plants will be built on the upper reaches of the Yangtze river and its tributaries in the coming decades.

According to the state energy development programme, a dozen major hydroelectric schemes will be developed in western China over the next 20 years with the largest developments concentrated on the Jinsha river, the upper reaches of the Yangtze.

The 12 hydro plants planned for Jinsha river are anticipated to have an installed capacity of some 58GW, three times that of the Three Gorges project.