Water pollution threatens China's oldest hydro-power station

Published: Thursday 30 November 2006

WATER pollution in China is now threatening one of its oldest hydropower stations, Shilongba Power Plant, located in the western suburbs of Kunming in southwest China's Yunnan Province. The plant, built in 1908 using German technology and equipment, has been forced to halt operations several times in recent years. In the latest of the incidents, in the third week of October, acidic water forced the plant to stop generating power for 15 hours.

A probe by local environment authorities found that two of three chemical plants upstream on the Tanglangchuan river were covertly discharging acidic wastewater into the Dianchi lake, which supplies fresh water to the power plant. The chemical units were fined 50,000 and 60,000 yuan and the pollution control board of the Kunming Environmental Bureau ordered them to suspend operations till they improve production processes, reports Xinhua, the state news agency. Meanwhile, green groups are demanding tougher actions against polluters.

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