Jinsha River consists the upper section of Yangtze, the longest river in Asia and the third-longest in the world. The new station, that will be the largest on the upper part of the Jinsha River, will produce about 10.2 billion kWh of electricity annually.
National Development and Reform Commission approved the construction works in 2016. The facility is expected to start operating by 2025. The project is managed by China Huadian Corporation which is one of the largest state-owned power generation firms in China that produces about 10% of the country's power. The company has also constructed about 240km of roadways near the station and has upgraded an 85-km road from Baiyu County to Batang County in Sichuan.
The facility is going to cost about $5 billion and will provide job opportunities for local population in an effort to alleviate poverty. "I earn more than 200 yuan each day working at the construction site, which is better than herding and farming. More importantly, I have the chance to learn some techniques," a local who works for the project said.
According to Huadian, the project will decrease China's environmental footprint by replacing about 4 million tons of coal that would produce 7.37 million of CO2 annually. Moreover, about $225 million will be invested in order to prevent construction works from disturbing the river's ecosystem. The environmental impact of the station was evaluated before construction initiated.
Totally, 13 hydropower stations will be constructed in the upper sections of Jinsha River. The first one, called Suwalong Hydropower Station, has a total capacity of 1.2 GW and it's first unit is going to start operating in 2020.