June 12, 2009

Yangtze River dams in question in China

China's Ministry of Environmental Protection says it has blocked a project for hydropower stations on the Yangtze River over the construction of two dams.

Ministry spokesman Tao Detian said Huadian Power and Huaneng Power failed to determine the environmental impact of constructing their respective Ludila and Longkaikou hydropower projects on the Yangtze's Jinsha River tributary, China Daily said Friday.

Tao said the two power companies must stop construction on the dams, which have blocked the river.

The ministry official said construction efforts must follow environmental protection measures to ensure the water ecology and local communities are not negatively impacted.

The construction of the dams is part of a nearly $29.3 billion plan for eight hydropower stations on the Yangtze River's upper reaches, China Daily said.

The BBC said the environment ministry has approved construction of two of the other dams involved in the Jinsha River project.