The 1200MW Geheyan hydro power plant, located on the Qingjiang river in China, has received final acceptance from a panel of 120 experts which have been appointed by the Chinese government.

The hydro plant, in Changyang County in Hubei province, took 11 years to build and cost US$500M.

The construction cost was financed by the Chinese government and the province of Hubei.

Construction work started on the plant on 15 January 1987, and the first 300MW generating unit was commissioned in June 1993. The last of the four units was put in place on 26 November 1994.

The plant has so far produced 11.2B kWh of electricity.

During its initial stages, the Geheyan plant was considered to be the pilot project for the Three Gorges. The Qingjiang river, a major tributary of the Yangtze river, joins the Yangtze downstream of the Three Gorges site.

Hydro development is set to continue in this region. China and Hubei are proposing to build two more hydro plants on the Qingjiang river, with a combined generating capacity of about 3000MW.