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Xiangjiaba Hydropower Plant in Yunnan and Sichuan, southwest China

Thousands of residents displaced by the Xiangjiaba hydropower plant protested against the local resettlement policies.


The 6400MW Xiangjiaba Hydropower Plant, owned by China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG), is the last step of a cascade development on the lower mainstream of Jinsha River, of which Yibin County of Sichuan Province is on the left bank and Shuifu County of Yunnan Province is on the right bank.[1]

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Xiangjiaba Hydropower Plant in Yunnan and Sichuan, southwest China
State or province:Yunnan and Sichuan
Location of conflict:Suijiang County and Pingshan County
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Other
Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific commodities:Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Official name 向家坝

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Level of Investment for the conflictive project10,000,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:From 85,000 to 118,000 people from six counties (about half in Sichuan, half in Yunnan) who will need to be relocated
Start of the conflict:2010
Company names or state enterprises:Alstom from France
ABB (ABB) from Sweden - For this turnkey project, ABB was responsible for overall system design and supply of the main equipment, including 28 high- and ultrahigh-voltage converter transformers, ten from Sweden and the rest manufactured with ABB components and technology in China, in local partnership. Other key products delivered include thyristor valves, DC and AC switchyard equipment and the DCC800 HVDC control system.
State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) from China - The 1,980km UHVDC overhead transmission link, one of the biggest of its kind, was commissioned by the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) in July 2010.
China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG ) from China - The power plant is being developed by state-owned China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG).
Yunnan Construction Engineering Group Co., Ltd. (Yunnan Jiangong) from China - Suijiang Resettlement Project
Relevant government actors:-Suijiang County government and different bureaus
International and Finance InstitutionsChina Yangtze Power Co., Ltd. (CYPC) from China - project financing
China Development Bank (CDB) from China - project financing
China Construction Bank (CCB) from China
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Landless peasants
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Media based activism/alternative media
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Refusal of compensation
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Other Environmental impacts
Potential: Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Other Environmental impactsDifficult living environment after resettlement.
Health ImpactsPotential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Other Health impacts
Other Health impactsthe unknown health impacts of dead fish and its contamination to the water, etc.
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in violence and crime
Other socio-economic impactsDead fish
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Violent targeting of activists
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The displaced villagers suffered and sacrificed a lot from the resettlement and some of them obviously could not easily sustain their livelihoods in the long term due to low compensation and limited job opportunities. The dam is in operation and there would be potential ecological damages along the river and in the surrounding areas like a large number of dead fish in 2014.
Sources & Materials

[1] Xiangjiaba Hydropower Plant
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[2] Xiangjiaba Hydropower Station
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[3] Xiangjiaba hydropower station starts operating
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[4] Xiangjiaba hydropower project: Asian project of the year
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[5]《财经》:绥江围城(Caijing: Besieged Suijiang)
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[6] 工程总承包-绥江移民工程
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[7] New migrants, same story: villagers in Sichuan protest relocation packages
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[8] 向家坝水电站移民内幕揭秘
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[10] Thousands of Chinese citizens protest forced resettlement by hydro dam, clash with police
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[11] Burma earthquake: At least 75 people killed
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[12] Last refuge of rare fish threatened by Yangtze dam plans: Developers of hydroelectric plant have redrawn the boundaries of a crucial freshwater reserve for rare and economically important species
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[14]金沙江向家坝库区惊现数十吨死鱼 影响群众近十万人
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Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[9] Thousands of Villagers Clash With Police Over Yangtze Dam Project
[click to view]

Xiangjiaba Dam Documentary中国十大水电站之:向家坝纪录片
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:EnvJustice, ICTA-UAB
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:2878
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