China Guodian Corporation


China Guodian Corporation (Guodian) is one of the largest state-owned power generation groups in China. It is engaged in the development of coal power, hydropower and wind energy infrastructure. In June 2010, approximately 10 percent of its power generation capacity was sourced from hydropower.

Guodian is structured into 45 companies, 2 research institutes and 200 primary power generation companies. Shares of two of China Guodian subsidiaries are traded on the Shanghai stock exchange and Hong Kong stock exchanges.

Guodian has had a poor environmental record in China. In 2005, Guodian postponed its Initial Public Offering (IPO) following a crackdown by State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA). SEPA found that the company had constructed the projects without authorization. In response, SEPA ordered an immediate halt to the construction of the Shizuishan Plant in Ningxia region and demanded the installation of desulphurization units in 2 Guodian coal powered plants. In 2007, SEPA suspended 1.98 billion RMB worth of projects because they failed to meet environmental protection requirements and refused to approve any further projects until the suspended ones meet environmental requirements. Around the same time, Chinese media reported that Guodian was facing troubles on arranging resettlement compensation for its hydropower projects in China.

Guodian approaches corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a form of philanthropy. It is however committed to renewable energy development, and aims to have 40 per cent of its energy sourced from hydro, wind, nuclear and solar by 2013.

Prompted by the State Council's requirement that state-owned enterprises should issue CSR reports, Guodian has been publishing annual CSR reports since 2007. Chen Ying, a former board member of United Nations Global Compact reviewed Guodian's CSR reports in 2008 and 2009. However the annual CSR report largely functions as a means for Guodian to report its progress in reducing pollutant emissions and various philanthropic activities.

Guodian is committed to China's going out strategy and has used it's business promote international exchange and cooperation. The management of Guodian's overseas projects remains within the Group Company. The President of Guodian regularly meets with diplomats and visiting foreign ministers in Beijing. Based on our research, Guodian is aggressively expanding overseas business and is currently constructing coal-fired power plants, hydropower and wind power projects overseas. The push for more international projects is also partially driven by reduced profits due to the increasing price of coal.

Case study: Sambor Dam - A proposed Mekong mainstream dam

In 2010, the Cambodian government signed an initial agreement with Guodian to develop two hydropower projects of up to 2.7 gigawatts of capacity. The agreement formed part of a larger bilateral investment package announced during the visit by Wu Bangguo, the Chairman of China's National People's Congress to Cambodia.

In accordance with this agreement, Guodian is currently conducting a feasibility study of two hydropower options for a mainstream Mekong dam at Prek Kampi (south of Sambor village in Kratie Province). The study will assess both a 460 MW option and a 2600 MW development option for the site.

The proposed dam reservoir could displace up to 5,120 people and require the resettlement of an addition 19,034 people. Environmentalists have warned that the Sambor and other dams planned for the Mekong could destroy the livelihoods of more than a million fisheries-dependent Cambodians and have called on the government to produce more thorough environmental-impact assessments ahead of hydropower projects.

What you can do - possible tactics and strategies

  • Investigate whether the environmental and social risks associated with your local Guodian project have been adequately disclosed, are being monitored and mitigated in line with local laws and regulations.
  • Consider conducting research into finding out the key shareholders of GD Power Development, Guodian's China listed company. With this information you could lobby and advocate large shareholders to call on Guodian for to commit to a high standard of comprehensive disclosure of sustainability performance and it's impact overseas on the environment and communities.
More information: 

Chief Executive Officer and President: Mr Zhu Yongpeng (朱永芃)
Address: 6-8 Fuchengmeng Bei Street, Xicheng District, Beijing, China, 100034
Tel: + 86 (10) 5868 2001
Fax: + 86 (10) 5868 3900

Company spokesperson: Xu Mingjun, Director
Office of General Administration
Phone: +86 (10) 5868 3956