The use of a narrow canyon to construct a small hydro power plant in southwest China means that the the cost of building the plant will be cut by up to two-thirds.

The Shiziguan hydro power plant will be built on the Hongjiahe river in central China’s Hubei Province. The 180m high dam impounds a small reservoir with a capacity of 126M m3.

The hydro plant is designed to have an installed generation capacity of 10MW and is expected to begin operation by the end of 2001, with an annual power generation of 26.7GWh.

Meanwhile, provinces in central and western China say they will make the construction of small hydro power plants a priority in terms of their economic development, according to the Xinhua news agency.

Investment in small hydro power projects this year will total approximately US$1.86B and China will have 43,000 small hydro power plants with an annual generating capacity of 72B kWh.