November 16, 2010, 5:07 AM EST
By Bloomberg News
(Updates with analyst's comments in fourth paragraph.)
Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- China, Myanmar and Thailand agreed to study a $10
billion hydropower project that would be Southeast Asia's largest by
generation capacity, the Chinese government said.
The 7-gigawatt project would be built on the Salween River in Myanmar
over 15 years, China's State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration
Commission said in a statement on its website today. Companies from the
three countries signed an accord on the project on Nov. 10, according to
China, the world's largest energy consumer, is planning to add
hydropower capacity in its southern provinces such as Yunnan and help
build hydro dams in neighboring countries including Myanmar, Laos and
Cambodia to meet demand from the region. The Asian Development Bank in
September raised its 2010 economic growth forecast for Asia, excluding
Japan, to 8.2 percent.
"Asiaï¿½s power demand is set to rise with the economy, and Chinese
developers are keen to tap the rich hydro resources in Southeast Asia to
fuel regional growth," said Dave Dai, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Daiwa
Securities Capital Markets Co.
China Three Gorges Corp., Sinohydro Corp. and China Southern Power Grid
Co. will work with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand and
the International Group of Entrepreneur Co. in Myanmar on the study,
according to the statement.
From its headwaters in the Tibetan plateau, the 2,800- kilometer
(1,740-mile) Salween traverses Yunnan and Myanmar before emptying into
the Andaman Sea. The river is known as Nu Jiang in China.
--Wang Ying. Editors: Ryan Woo, John Chacko.
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