“The construction of the world’s biggest hydropower plant began in 1994 and its first generating unit was connected to the grid in July 2003. Official news agency Xinhua said it has already generated a total of 564.8 billion kilowatt-hours, saving nearly 200 million tonnes of coal a year.
But the project, located on the middle reaches of the Yangtze river, cost a total of 254 billion yuan ($39.99 billion), four times the original estimate, and another 123.8 billion yuan has been spent on “follow-up work”.
The project’s 185-metre dam and 600-km reservoir have forced the relocation of at least 1.3 million residents, and the government has acknowledged that earthquake and landslide risks have also increased in the region.
Hydropower construction slowed after building work on the dam was completed in 2006, with several large-scale projects vetoed because of the soaring costs of handling displaced people and protecting the environment.”
Read more: Reuters