Longtan hydropower project, China's third largest hydro-electric plant, has seen the successful trial operation of its first generating unit recently, sources said on Sunday.
Located in southwest Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the Longtan project serves as a key component of the government's "go west" campaign to develop the western regions and to bring electricity to the economically developed, but energy-demanding eastern and coastal areas.
"We are preparing for the operation of the other two generators, which is also slated for this year," said Dai Bo, general manager of the Longtan Hydropower Development Co. of China Datang Corporation (CDT).
A total of 30 billion yuan in investment from CDT was used to build Longtan's 216.5-meter-high dam, a ship lock and an underground generating house with nine turbo-generators with a combined installed generating capacity of 6.3 million kw.
Construction on the Longtan project began in July 2001 and the project is scheduled to be completed in 2009. It is designed to generate 18.7 billion kwh of electricity annually. (one dollar equals to 7.65 yuan)