Zangmu Dam (藏木) is a gravity dam on the Yarlung
Brahmaputra River 9 km (5.6 mi) northwest of Gyaca in
Tibet Autonomous Region
Tibet Autonomous Region of China. This dam is built a few
kilometers from the bhutan- India border. The purpose of the dam is
hydroelectric power production using run-of-the-river technology.
It is part of the Zangmu Hydropower Project and supports a 510 MW
power station. Construction began in 2009 and the first generator was
commissioned in November 2014. The last became operational on 13
October 2015. It is the first dam on the Brahmaputra/Yarlung Zangbo
River and has caused controversy in India.
1.1 Downstream concerns
3 See also
In 1972, the Chinese Academy of Sciences created the Qinghai-Tibet
Plateau Comprehensive Scientific Expedition which in part studied
conditions in the Tsangpo-
Brahmaputra River basin. The study concluded
that 114,000 MW of hydroelectric power generation capacity could be
established in the basin, 79,000 MW from the main stem alone. A more
in-depth hydrological study began in 1980 which identified 12 sites
for dams. It was envisioned that the dams could alleviate power
shortages in Lhasa. During the 1980s and 1990s, work failed to
commence in the basin. Currently, there are 28 proposed dams in
the basin, Zangmu being the only one approved for construction.
In April 2009, China's
Gezhouba Group was awarded a $167 million
contract for the Zangmu Hydropower Project. According to the company,
the contract is for the design and construction of the dam along with
its power house to control water flowing downstream to North Eastern
India.The project will require 3,400,000 m3
(4,400,000 cu yd) of concrete and 8 million tons of
aggregate. Specifications for the dam are uncertain as
not shared much information. On 12 November 2010, the construction
reached coffer dam river closure. The reservoir was impounded and
the first generator was commissioned on 23 November 2014. The power
station was declared fully operational on 13 October 2015.
Brahmaputra River flows into India and Bangladesh, China's
plans to construct a dam on the river are not without controversy.
China had previously denied that they were constructing a
dam on the Brahmaputra River, even after the contract was awarded. In
April 2010, Yang Jiechi, their Foreign Minister, officially revealed
that they were in fact constructing the
Zangmu Dam on the river. China
has assured India that the dam is "a small project which will not have
any impact on the river's downstream flow into North-East
India." Indian officials such as the Arunachal Pradesh
Power Minister Jabron Gamlin express that "China's constructing a dam
is a cause of concern for us, but we are not certain how big this dam
is and what affect it would have on people living downstream".
China has refused requests to reduce the height of the dam
but the Indian Minister of External Affairs at the time, S. M.
Krishna, had asserted that India was not concerned with the dam due to
its run-of-the-river design. In January 2013
China approved three
more dams on the river as part of its Twelfth Five Year Plan. The Dagu
(640 MW) and Jiexu (560 MW) dams will be constructed upstream of
Zangmu and the Jiacha Dam (320 MW) downstream.
Zangmu Dam is a 116 m (381 ft) tall and 389 m
(1,276 ft) long concrete gravity-type. On its right bank is the
spillway, plunge pool and bottom outlet (for silt). On the dam's left
bank, the retaining dam section is 80 m (262 ft) tall and
the power plant sits at its toe. The entire dam is 76 m
(249 ft) wide at its base and 19 m (62 ft) wide at its
crest. Sitting at the head of a 157,668 km2
(60,876 sq mi) catchment area, the dam's reservoir has a
daily active capacity (pondage) of 86,600,000 m3
(70,208 acre⋅ft) and normal reservoir elevation of 3,310 m
(10,860 ft). The dam's power station contains six 85 MW Francis
turbine-generators for a total installed capacity of 510 MW.
Renewable energy portal
List of longest undammed rivers
List of dams and reservoirs in China
^ He Haining, Jiang Yannan (17 January 2011). "A new era for Tibet's
China Dialogue. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
^ Dhal Samanta, Pranab (15 October 2009). "
China begins building dam
on its side of the Brahmaputra". Indian Express. Retrieved 23 June
^ a b "
Zangmu Dam Bid" (in Chinese). Chinese government procurement
network. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
^ "Delivery of Technology to Tibet's Largest Hydropower Plant".
Rainpower. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
^ "India concerned over China's hydro power project on Brahmaputra".
Energy Business. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
^ a b Varma, KJM (16 November 2010). "
China Assures India Brahmaputra
Dam Not Aimed at It". Beijing: Outlook India. Retrieved 6 March
^ Chellaney, Brahma (2011). Water : Asia's new battleground.
Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. p. 160.
^ a b Hao, Tong (2009-03-04). "Gezhouba wins 1.14b yuan hydropower
China Daily. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
^ a b "China's first hydropower dam on Brahmaputra is fully
operational". HiLight News. 13 October 2015. Retrieved 19 November
^ "Dammed rivers". The Economist. 19 October 2009. Retrieved 28 August
2010. first1= missing last1= in Authors list (help)
^ "Damming Tibet's Yarlung Tsangpo-Brahmaputra and other South Asian
rivers". Tibetan Plateau. 24 May 2010. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
^ a b Ranjan, Rajiv (12 August 2010). "Damming The Brahmaputra:
Setback To South Asian Stability?". Retrieved 28 August 2010.
^ a b c "India taking up
China dam issue: Arunachal Min". Zee News. 11
August 2010. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
^ "Yajiang Tibet into a large hydroelectric power station era marked"
China Dialogue. 1 January 2011. Retrieved 29 November
^ "Push for new dams across Brahmaputra as
China faces drought". The
Hindu. 10 June 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
^ Zarir Hussain, Syed (20 October 2009). "No Chinese dam over
Brahmaputra - PM assures Arunachal". Thaindian News. Retrieved 28
China says dam on Brahmaputra won't affect river flow: Govt".
Rediff News. 22 April 2010. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
China denies building dam on Brahmaputra; NRSA's evidence suggests
otherwise". Dance With Shadows. 7 November 2009. Retrieved 28 August
China is not reducing height of dam on Brahmaputra river, says
intelligence report". India Today. 20 June 2011. Retrieved 29 November
China gives go-ahead for three new Brahmaputra dams". The Hindu. 30
January 2013. Retrieved 19 June