The Jinghong Hydropower Station's first generating unit went into operation last Thursday, according to a Xinhua report. The 108-meter high dam in southern Yunnan's Xishuangbanna prefecture is the third of 15 planned for the Lancang River (澜沧江), which is known as the Mekong after flowing out of China.
The Jinghong Hydropower Station joins the already operational Manwan and Dachaoshan power stations as the central government is preparing to build 12 more dams on the Lancang generating a total of 25.2 million kilowatts.
The 12.3 billion yuan (US$1.76 billion) station at Jinghong is projected to have a total installed capacity of 1.75 million kilowatts upon completion.
According to Xinhua, "The project is a key part of the country's strategy to develop its vast western region and send electricity from there to the more populated eastern area."