Construction of World’s Largest Capacity Power Line Starts in China

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | May 14, 2012 5:15 PM EST

China has started on Sunday the construction of what could be the world's largest capacity power transmission line capable of transmitting 37 billion kWh on average annually.

Located in China's western region of Xinjiang, the 800-kilovolt (kv) ultra-high voltage power transmission line is being built by the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) to the tune of $3.7 billion.

Connecting the energy base of the Hami prefecture in eastern Xinjiang with the central city of Zhengzhou, the power line is designed to have a transmission capacity of 8 million kW once completed in 2014. At 2,210-km-long, it goes through the vast region of Xinjiang, Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Shanxi and Henan.

China, the world's second-largest economy, has been striving to meet the rising energy requirements of its growing population. Its' economic rise has consequently also brought it prolonged and worsening power shortages and outages in recent years.

Most of China's large energy bases are found in the west and north, thus the construction of the power line in Xinjiang is deemed most appropriate since the region holds 2 trillion tons of coal reserve, one third of which is found in Hami. It also helps that Hami is one of the country's major wind power bases.

"The ultra-high power transmission lines are a way out for the country's imbalanced distribution of energy reserve," the China Daily quoted as saying said Zhang Guobao, director of the Expert Advisory Committee under the National Energy Administration.

Liu Zhenya, SGCC general manager, meanwhile said the power line holds no potentially massive environmental impact.

"We can reduce 317,000 tons of sulfur dioxide and 267,000 tons of nitrogen oxide which would otherwise be produced during the transportation," Mr Zhenya was quoted as saying.

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