China Gezhouba Corporation


Mega dam builder

China Gezhouba is a large infrastructure construction contractor with significant experience in building large dams. Gezhouba was contractor of the Three Gorges Project in China.

Overseas, it has carried through this expertise and continued to develop and build large or mega hydropower projects.

Gezhouba’s hydropower business is rapidly expanding. In 2010, it signed 22.5 billion RMB in new international contracts. Of the combined 55.61 billion RMB of contracts (domestic and international) signed in 2010, 46% (25.76 billion RMB) were hydropower engineering contracts.

Shares of the group company are traded on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Vague social responsibility commitments

Gezhouba’s environmental commitments are vague. In its 2009 CSR report, it commitment to “strictly following the rules on environmental conservation, ensure that projects met the requirement of conserving materials, energy, water and land.”

While Gezhouba has set up an office of social responsibility, Gezhouba’s social and environmental protection efforts appear ad-hoc and include only limited activities such as donating computers, stationary and money to local schools (Pakistan NJ Hydropower project, May 2010) and donation of medical treatment to local laborers and communities (Burma, Myitsone and Chibwe Nge projects).

Gezhouba has agreed to adopt the guidelines on social responsibility in China’s overseas project contracting industry . The environmental and social commitments contained in this document are useful in setting baseline conditions for overseas projects but are vague and broad. For example, the overarching commitment on environmental protection requires enterprises to “activity avoid or reduce a project’s adverse impact on the environment, uphold green operations, build green projects, protect the ecological environment in which the project is located, and take effective measures to control greenhouse gas emissions,” similarly broad is the community involvement and development guidance – “enterprises should value local traditions and culture, respect human rights, improve people’s livelihoods and participate in and support the construction of local community projects to achieve mutually beneficial development.”

Significant international presence 

It has been active in the international dam building market since 1996. Gezhouba has aggressively embraced China’s going out strategy and we are likely to see many more hydropower projects being built by the company.

Gezhouba is investing in its international presence by “internationalizing the allocation of resources and localizing the administration of projects.” It is currently present in 60 countries, has more than 30 overseas branches and more than 20,000 overseas workers, currently generating a profit of 30 per cent or 10 billion RMB per year. It also has strategic cooperation agreements with China EXIM Bank, China Development Bank, Societe Generale Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, the China-Africa Development Fund, the East African Community and the Economic Community of West African States.

Gezhouba has signed a cooperation agreement with China EXIM Bank to cooperate to finance their projects (3 December 2010), as well as an agreement with the Bank of Communications to provide Gezhouba with 16 billion RMB in short, medium and long-term loans (December 2010).

Case Study: Myitsone Dam, Burma

Gezhouba is a civil works contractor for the Chinese-Burmese mega dam development at the starting point of the Irrawaddy River - at the confluence of the Mali and N’Mai Rivers of Burma. China Power Investment Corporation and the Burmese Ministry of Electric Power are the developers of the cascade of dams in the Irrawaddy river basin, which include the 6000 MW Myitsone Dam.

This is a highly controversial project. The Irrawaddy river is the most important river in Burma. Millions of people depend on the river for their livelihoods and use the river as a means of communication and travel. The reservoir would destroy the cultural heartland of the Burmese people who consider the confluence, the site of the dam, the birthplace of the Irrawaddy River. No environmental impact analysis has been conducted despite an initial environmental baseline study finding that catchment area of the dam is rich in biodiversity and natural resources. The Myistone Dam would also flood 31 villages yet no social impact assessment has been conducted to date.

Without ant legal requirement for a full environmental impact assessment under Burmese law, it is unknown whether any decisions of the dam and reservoir design will include consideration of the environmental and social impacts. Gezhouba has had a presence at the dam site since December 2008.

What you can do: tactics and strategies

  • Consider conducting corporate research to identify the major shareholders are of the Shanghai listed China Gezhouba Group Company. Using this information you could lobby large shareholders to call on Gezhouba for to commit to a high standard of comprehensive disclosure of sustainability performance and its impact overseas on the environment and communities.

  • Gezhouba wants to be seen as a responsible company as it seeks to increase its ranking in the global contractors league tables. Contacting company representatives directly (through a letter, phone call or visit) may be an important way to get your message across. In our experience managers at the project site have little authority in the dam project. It is more effective to contact the Beijing headquarters. Letters may also be more effective if they are copied to your local Chinese embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

More information: 

General manager: Yang Jixue
Address: No 1, Qingbao Road, Yichang, Hubei
Tel: +86 (717) 671 3210

Company spokesperson: Shi Jiaming, Deputy Director
Department: Corporate Culture Centre
Phone: +86 (717) 671 4868 

Company website: