Trans-Sibirskaya HPP, Russia

NGOs and committees opposed the project and made alliance with scientists to denounce the impacts. The plant was scrapped and a National Park was established.


Description

According to the industry, Russian territory is rich in hydropower potential amounting to 10% of the world total, which is mainly in Siberia and the Far East, where the electricity demands and hydropower development are low.

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Basic Data
NameTrans-Sibirskaya HPP, Russia
CountryRussian Federation
Site Zabaikalsky Region
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Water Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific CommoditiesElectricity
Water
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThis is one of several projects. Installed capacity — 400 — 900 MW; location — ca. 250 km from Mogocha, Trans-Baikal Territory. Trans-Sibirskaya HPP will provide an opportunity to synchronize the power systems of Siberia and the Russian Far East; it could also meet power demand of the Chinea polymetal deposit development project (implemented by En+ Group) and other mineral resources recovery projects in the Trans-Baikal Territory.

This is a description from Rivers without Boundaries: "En+ESE proposed Trans-Sibirskaya Hydro in Zabaikalsky Province, on the Shilka River – the source of the Amur River with 450 kilometer long reservoir, that in length will occupy roughly a half of the Shilka River proper. It will fully block the Shilka River watershed, disrupt important migration corridor between the Amur river and northern Dauria, exterminate floodplain communities unique for Dauria, drown 130 important historic sites and 20 settlements. Reservoir will be contaminated with rotting wood and toxic substances from mining complexes upstream, it will exterminate local fish including giant Kaluga Sturgeon–endemic of the Amur. CYPC and Three gorges Co. eye this project in the headwaters of the Amur as a first step to build dams on the Amur River main transboundary channel."
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date2012
Company Names or State EnterprisesChina Yangtze Power Co (CYPC) from China
Eurosibenergo (EN+) from Russian Federation
Three Gorges Corporation from China
International and Financial InstitutionsExport-Import Bank of China from China
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersWWF Russia, Rivers without Boundaries coalition
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingInternational ejos
Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Trade unions
Local scientists/professionals
Youth associations
Forms of MobilizationCommunity-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Joint study on integrated environmental assessment between EJOs and dam developers, scientific conferences
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Displacement
OtherSubmergence of archeological sites.

This is a transboundary conflict between Russia and China.
Outcome
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseNew Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project temporarily suspended
Establishment of a national park
Development of AlternativesSmall scale tourism based economy

Fishery economy

Higher environmental standards in river management planning
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The EJOs coalition managed to suspend the project and to participate to the impact assessment study; many scientists and groups of youth participated to the mobilization and street petitions also proved successful. Also, a large area was then devoted to a National Park. However, it is not clear whether Russian and/or Chinese companies will still get their share of the river basin for future hydropower projects at the only cost of the implementation of some stricter environmental standards.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation Between the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation - 2001
[click to view]

RAMSAR convention

References

Report from Rivers without Boundaries, Transsibirskaya Hydro Planned in Amur River Headwaters.
[click to view]

Perspective Analysis of Cooperative Development of Hydropower Resources of Border Rivers between China and Russia

JIA De-xiang, BAI Jian-hua, LIANG Fu-cui(State Grid Energy Research Institute, Beijing 100052, China)
[click to view]

Links

RwB, Save Dauria Rivers - Trans-Sibirskaya hydropower plant -new deadly threat to Daurian rivers
[click to view]

[1] Speech delivered by Three Gorges Co. representative Chen Guoqing at Baikal Economic Forum
[click to view]

[2] RwB - Shilka Hydro – a week of protests results in constructive outcome
[click to view]

[3] RwB - Hydro on Shilka suspended?
[click to view]

WWF RUSSIA - Optimizing Hydropower Planning in the Amur River basin (available online)

Power-Technology - Chinese and Russian Companies to Construct Power Plants in Siberia
[click to view]

[4] RwB - A New Wildlife Refuge established on the Shilka and Upper Amur River
[click to view]

Other Documents

Shilka river
[click to view]

Week of Mobilization
[click to view]

Amur-Heilong Shilka Dam Development Case Study "Amur-Heilong Shilka Dam Development Case Study" by Eugene Simonov, Rivers without Borders
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorDaniela Del Bene (ICTA - UAB) d.delbene-at-gmail.com
Last update23/02/2016
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