Two of the plant’s six units have been commissioned and the remainder are scheduled to be operational before the end of 2010.

Laxiwa is located on the Yellow river, in Guide county, Qinghai province, and is the largest project being developed by China Power Investment Corp (CPIC).

The project has involved construction of a 250m high, double-curvature arch dam and an underground powerhouse on the right bank.

The first 700MW Francis turbines at Laxiwa were originally scheduled to be operational in 2008, according to the programme given in the early construction phase, three years ago.

When fully operational, the plant is expected to generate approximately 10.2TWh of electricity per year.

Studies and design were undertaken by Northwest Hydro Consulting Engineers, part of China Hydropower Engineering Consulting Group.