Dismantling has started on the cable cranes at the 16GW Baihetan hydropower station in China, China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG) has announced.

The world’s largest cable crane group has been in operation since March 2017 and has run for 229,800 hours, lifting a total of 279 million m3 of concrete during this period, setting records for both safe operation and concrete. 

The No. 7 cable crane is expected to be demolished first within 90 days, Pei Lei, a senior engineer at the Baihetan project said. 

Baihetan is located on the Jinsha River, the upper section of the Yangtze River, and straddles the southwestern provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan. With a total installed capacity of 16GW, the hydropower station is equipped with 16 hydro-generating units, each with a capacity of 1GW, the largest single-unit capacity in the world.

The project is now operating stably and has generated more than 24 billion kWh of clean electricity, CTG said.  When in full operation, which is expected in July 2022, the Baihetan project is expected to save approximately 19.68 million tonnes of standard coal, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 51.6 million tonnes, sulfur dioxide by 170,000 tonnes, and nitrogen oxides by 150,000 tonnes annually.