|Location||Yulong County, Lijiang|
|Opening date||2015 est.|
|Construction cost||13.6 billion RMB ($2 billion USD)|
|Dam and spillways|
|Type of dam||Gravity|
|Height||130 m (430 ft)|
|Total capacity||8,820,000,000 m3 (7,150,000 acre·ft)|
|Surface area||23.42 km2 (9.04 sq mi)|
|Turbines||5 x 400 MW Francis-type|
|Installed capacity||2,000 MW|
|Annual generation||8.887 billion kWh (est.)|
The Ahai Dam is an under construction gravity dam on the Jinsha River in Yulong County, Lijiang Prefecture and in the river reach at about 5 km in the lower reaches of Cuiyu river mouth. Preliminary construction began in 2008 and construction on the dam superstructure and power station began in 2010. The dams first generator was operational in December 2012, the third by May 2013.
The dam section is a transverse valley with a water surface 60 to 150 m wide and low water level of 1048 m. The landforms on both banks are basically symmetrical. There is a measurement of about 50 m wide tableland and about 30 degrees above water surface in the left bank, and the slope in the right bank is about 27 degree and the slope above the elevation of 1500 m is about 48 degree. There is poor sand and soil materials and abundant limestone material satisfied with requirement of quality and reserves within 20 km in the dam area, which is qualified for setting up low dam according to existing geological data. In the light of topographic and geological conditions, the Ahai dam section can be considered as local material dam type with low height of swell, suitable for connection of backwater with Liyuan cascade. The dam has normal water level of 1514 m, total reservoir capacity of 1.08 billion cubic meters and installed capacity of 2,000,000-2,200,000 kW. Now, a low-cost road to Niukexu has been opened to traffic, and there is only an about 5 km long path to the dam section.
Ten month marked the first time representatives from Chinese environmental groups were invited to participate in the environmental impact assessment for a major hydropower project in China, according to the First Financial Daily. Ma Jun, director of the Institute for Public & Environmental Affairs, and Yang Yong, representative for the Green Earth Volunteers, took part in the meeting to conduct technical evaluation on environmental impact assessment for the Ahai Dam on the Jingsha River on December 29–30, 2008 in Beijing.
One expert at the meeting noted that major preliminary work on the dam had begun prior to completion of the environmental impact assessment – a violation of the 2002 Environmental Impact Assessment Law (EIA Law). However, the civil society representatives said that “in terms of procedural fairness, this a major stride towards fulfilling the public participation principles of the EIA Law, a historical improvement.” This may be so, but this public participation is really just compliance with the EIA Law. And, as currently set forth in the law, public participation happens quite late in the EIA process. It would be much more beneficial to have public participation at, for example, the scoping stage when the range of potential environmental impacts to be investigated is set.
But the issue of work beginning prior to completion of the EIA is perhaps the most problematic. Environmentalists are concerned in particular about the dam’s impacts on various local fish species. Green Earth Volunteers director, Wang Yongchen, noted that much more could have been done to reduce harm to biodiversity and local people if the EIA on the dam had been conducted before work had begun on the project.
With major investment already made before completion of the EIA, issues like siting of the project and possibly even key aspects of the dam’s design are essentially off-the-table for discussion. So it’s hard to see how any environmental impacts from these aspects of the project would be mitigated in a cost-effective way. Link: “Jingsha River Ahai Hydropower Station Construction Controversy Still Exists”
- "Ahai Station Unit 1 through 72 hours test run (info)" (in Chinese). China Energy Report. 24 December 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
- "Huadian Power Station 3 # Unit Ahai enter 72 hours test run" (in Chinese). Polaris Power News. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
- "Ahai Station" (in Chinese). Baidu. Retrieved 9 January 2011.