Business / Industries

China breaks ground on power transmission line

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-07-30 11:17

HANGZHOU -- Construction on a west-to-east ultra-high voltage direct current power transmission project kicks off in East China's Zhejiang province on Saturday, marking the nation's latest efforts to ease power shortages in its eastern regions.

The project, funded by the State Grid Corporation of China, will transport about 40 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually from Xiluodu Hydropower Station in Southwest China to Zhejiang after its scheduled completion in 2014.

This will help save 12.28 million metric tons of standard coal, which means the cut of 34 million tons of carbon emissions.

The SGCC, the nation's major power grid operator, will invest 23.86 billion yuan ($3.79 billion) in the construction of the project.

Starting in Yibin, a southern city in Sichuan province, the 1,679.9-kilometer transmission line will traverse Guizhou, Jiangxi and Hunan provinces to reach Zhejiang's central city of Jinhua.

SGCC Vice-President Shu Yinbiao said that compared to previous projects, the line will be built with a greater transmission capacity, more advanced technology and a higher domestic manufacturing level.

The move came as China steps up the construction of ultra-high voltage direct current power transmission projects since an increasing number of economically-developed eastern cities have reported being affected by power shortages.

The project is the SGCC's third UHV DC power transmission project after the Xiangjiaba-Shanghai and Jinping-Nanjing transmission lines, which were completed in 2010 and 2012, respectively, according to Liu Zehong, director of SGCC's DC power construction department.

The three transmission lines together will support a transmission capacity of 21.6 million kilowatts and help meet rising power demands in energy-consuming cities in eastern China, Liu said.

These projects will also help fuel the exploration of clean energy in the country's water-rich southwestern regions and make water resources there an economic advantage, which will in turn promote balanced regional growth, Liu said.

Xiluodu Hydropower Station on the Jinshajiang River is the country's third largest hydropower project after the Three Gorges project and Xiangjiaba Hydropower Station.

The installed capacity for hydropower on the Jinshajiang River could amount to 90 million kilowatts, about five times that of the Three Gorges project, Liu said.

According to Liu, China ranks first in the world in terms of water resources, but the distribution is rather uneven. Sichuan, Yunnan and Tibet autonomous region alone account for two-thirds of the nation's water resources, with a technical exploitation capacity of 330 million kilowatts. But only 15 percent has been explored so far.

By 2015, the SGCC aims to build three north-to-south UHV lines, which would deliver power from the nation's northern energy bases, and three west-to-east UHV lines, which would transport coal electricity from the north and hydropower from the southwest and connect a line among the northern, central and eastern regions.

UHV, defined as voltage of 1,000 kilovolts or above in alternating current and 800 kilovolts or above in direct current, is designed to deliver large quantities of power over long distances with less power loss than the most commonly used 500-kilovolt lines.

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