BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s environment ministry has given the go-ahead for the construction of what will become the country’s tallest hydroelectric dam despite acknowledging it will have an impact on plants and rare fish.
The dam, with a height of 314 meters (1,030 feet), will serve the Shuangjiangkou hydropower project on the Dadu River in southwestern Sichuan province.
To be built over 10 years by a subsidiary of state power firm Guodian Group, it is expected to cost 24.68 billion yuan ($4.02 billion) in investment.
The ministry, in a statement issued late on Tuesday, said an environmental impact assessment had acknowledged that the project would have a negative impact on rare fish and flora and affect protected local nature reserves.
Developers, it said, had pledged to take “counter-measures” to mitigate the effects.
China aims to raise the share of non-fossil fuels in its energy mix to 15 percent by 2020, up from 9.4 percent in 2011. Hydropower is expected to make the biggest contribution.
It has vowed to speed up construction of dams in the 2011-2015 period after slowing it down following the completion of the controversial Three Gorges project in 2005.
Environmental groups silent. Dam will be 1,000 feet tall, about the same height as the Eiffel Tower.