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Trans-Sibirskaya HPP, Russia

NGOs and committees opposed the project and made alliance with scientists to denounce the impacts. The plant was scrapped and a National Park was established.


According to the industry, Russian territory is rich in hydropower potential amounting to 10% of the world total, which is mainly in Siberia and the Far East, where the electricity demands and hydropower development are low.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Trans-Sibirskaya HPP, Russia
Country:Russian Federation
Location of conflict: Zabaikalsky Region
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific commodities:Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

This is one of several projects. Installed capacity — 400 — 900 MW; location — ca. 250 km from Mogocha, Trans-Baikal Territory. Trans-Sibirskaya HPP will provide an opportunity to synchronize the power systems of Siberia and the Russian Far East; it could also meet power demand of the Chinea polymetal deposit development project (implemented by En+ Group) and other mineral resources recovery projects in the Trans-Baikal Territory.

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Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:2012
Company names or state enterprises:China Yangtze Power Co (CYPC) from China
Eurosibenergo (EN+) from Russian Federation
China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG ) from China
International and Finance InstitutionsExport-Import Bank of China from China
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:WWF Russia, Rivers without Boundaries coalition
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Trade unions
Local scientists/professionals
Youth associations
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Joint study on integrated environmental assessment between EJOs and dam developers, scientific conferences
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement
Other socio-economic impactsSubmergence of archeological sites.
This is a transboundary conflict between Russia and China.
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Conflict outcome / response:New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project temporarily suspended
Establishment of a national park
Development of alternatives:Small scale tourism based economy
Fishery economy
Higher environmental standards in river management planning
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The EJOs coalition managed to suspend the project and to participate to the impact assessment study; many scientists and groups of youth participated to the mobilization and street petitions also proved successful. Also, a large area was then devoted to a National Park. However, it is not clear whether Russian and/or Chinese companies will still get their share of the river basin for future hydropower projects at the only cost of the implementation of some stricter environmental standards.
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

RAMSAR convention

Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation Between the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation - 2001
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Report from Rivers without Boundaries, Transsibirskaya Hydro Planned in Amur River Headwaters.
[click to view]

Perspective Analysis of Cooperative Development of Hydropower Resources of Border Rivers between China and Russia

JIA De-xiang, BAI Jian-hua, LIANG Fu-cui(State Grid Energy Research Institute, Beijing 100052, China)
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

RwB, Save Dauria Rivers - Trans-Sibirskaya hydropower plant -new deadly threat to Daurian rivers
[click to view]

[1] Speech delivered by Three Gorges Co. representative Chen Guoqing at Baikal Economic Forum
[click to view]

[3] RwB - Hydro on Shilka suspended?
[click to view]

[2] RwB - Shilka Hydro – a week of protests results in constructive outcome
[click to view]

WWF RUSSIA - Optimizing Hydropower Planning in the Amur River basin (available online)

Power-Technology - Chinese and Russian Companies to Construct Power Plants in Siberia
[click to view]

[4] RwB - A New Wildlife Refuge established on the Shilka and Upper Amur River
[click to view]

Other documents

Shilka river
[click to view]

Week of Mobilization
[click to view]

Amur-Heilong Shilka Dam Development Case Study "Amur-Heilong Shilka Dam Development Case Study" by Eugene Simonov, Rivers without Borders
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Daniela Del Bene (ICTA - UAB)
Last update23/02/2016
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