The Upper Thanlwin Dam is one of five dams planned on the Salween River in eastern Burma. In April 2007, two Chinese companies signed an MOU with the Burmese government for an “Upper Thanlwin” dam in northern Shan State.
Installed capacity: 1,400 MW (Last update September 2014)
Annual production: unknown
Location: 4.3 miles upstream from Holi village, Kunlong township, in Northern Shan State, 25 km from the Chinese border
The project will be carried out in two phases. The first phase will be implemented on the Thanlwin River, a mile upstream of the Tarpa bridge in Kunlon Township with a power plant of 1,160 MW. The second phases will be upstream of the confluence of Nanin creek and the Thanlwin. The power plant there will generate 1,240 MW.
Farsighted Investment Group Company (now Hanergy Holding Group Company) and Gold Water Resources Company announced an agreement for implementation of the Upper Thanlwin Dam in early 2007. In April 2008, three companies from China signed a strategic cooperation agreement for the development of electricity from Burma’s Salween River. Details of the agreement have not been released.
Hanergy Holding Group Company (formerly Farsighted Investment Group Company)
Gold Water Resources Company
Yunnan Power Grid Company
Mid-South Design and Research Institute (CHECC)
China Southern Power Grid Co., Ltd. (CSG)
China Three Gorges Project Development Corporation
Neither investment amounts nor details of the 2007 agreement have been disclosed.
Income generated from the sale of electricity will depend on the annual production and the buying price. A power purchase agreement has yet to be signed.
Cost: $1.4 billion USD
Electricity – where will it go?
The destination of the electricity has not been disclosed.
Sale of Electricity: Hanergy to take 1200 MW (or 86%) of electricity generated The remainder of the electricity output will be provided to Burma for free. The Burma government has the option of buying more electricity from Hanergy and Asia World.
Chinese technicians have been conducting a feasibility study for the project that is expected to be finished within 2008. It has yet to be released. A survey of a 147-km section of the upper Salween was also conducted in December 2006 by Yunnan Power Grid Co. and Mid-South Design and Research Institute (CHECC).
Expected Completion: Seven years to construct (88 months) (Last updated: Jan 2015)
All of the dams planned on the Salween River will greatly disrupt the riverine ecosystem and destroy the livelihoods of those peoples living along the river. Large areas of land, used by many ethnic peoples for traditional farming and medicines, will be flooded. Those living along the river will be forcibly relocated, likely without compensation. Further, large development projects in Burma bring an expanded Burma Army presence and the increased use of forced labor. Villagers living downstream from the dams will also face difficulties. Alterations in river flows will affect disrupt downstream estuaries, which will harm the agricultural and fishing practices of villagers who depend on those estuaries.
EIA Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association
Singapore consultant (unnamed)
Investors Burma’s Ministry of Electric Power;
Hanergy Holding Group,
Asia World Company (Goldwater Resources Ltd.)
(HydroChina Kunming conducted feasibility studies in 2010)