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China's dam-building plans on Myanmar segment of Upper Salween (Nu River) set to continue, despite decision to stop constructions on China side

Author: Tom Fawthrop, Diplomat (Japan), Published on: 31 January 2017

"China's Myanmar Dam Hypocrisy", 28 Jan 2017

China’s recent decision to exclude the Nu River in China (also known as the Upper Salween) from their dam-building program highlights Beijing’s contradictory support for dam projects downstream in the ethnic states of Myanmar…

But…China and its hydro-power corporations are lobbying the new and inexperienced Myanmar government to continue with five mega-dam projects approved by the previous regime in 2013…[despite reports about] Yunnan province suffer[ing] major overcapacity in power generation and could potentially turn into a supplier of electricity to Myanmar…Myanmar has only 30 percent of its population hooked up to the national electricity grid one of the lowest rates among countries in the region.

…The key factor that led to the suspension of all dams on the Nu within China was the danger that large-scale dam construction could trigger an earthquake in the volatile seismic zone along the Salween…The same earthquake fault line runs from the Upper Salween and across into Myanmar, affecting all the Chinese dam projects downstream. So far the Myanmar Earthquake Committee has not been consulted by at any stage by Myanmar’s Ministry of Energy or by the new National League for Democracy (NLD) government…[refers to China Power Investment (CPI), EGAT International Thailand, Sinohydro & Three Gorges]

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Related companies: China Power Investment China Three Gorges Corporation Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) Sinohydro