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A Long-Lasting Treasure of China's Power Industry - Energy China Group

Updated: June 18, 2021

With no fine printing, ornate bookbinding, or compilers' names, the unadorned internal document made in the 1950s has never been published but has been regarded as a treasury of China's power industry for more than 70 years by workers in the field.

It was in July 1952, a year after the Korean War broke out, that the Northeast Design Bureau received a command from the central government to complete the construction of the 220-kilovolt Fengman-Dongling-Lishizhai power transmission line by the end of March 1954. The 369.25-kilometer line was designed to stretch across ten counties and cities in Jilin and Liaoning provinces and 919 tower bases were needed to support the line.

At that time, 220 was the highest voltage attained except for the power level at a plant in Sweden, which reached 380 kV.

In the early days of the country, industry in Northeast China played a crucial role in the nation's economic development. The annual iron-making, steel-making and power generation output in the region accounted for 75, 88 and 30.1 percent of the national gross domestic product respectively.

In a manner of speaking, Northeast China's industry was like the heart of the country's development and electricity and the power lines acted as the blood and the vessels. The power line to be built was no doubt a key artery.

However, there was no standard, detailed construction content or regulations to apply to the project. Therefore, regulation-making went ahead of everything.

Four technical teams were launched to carry out measurement and surveys, but it was frustrating that inexperienced workers and instrument of various countries only led to sketches full of errors and mistakes.

In desperate circumstances, another measurement was done in April 1953 which led to a rule requiring repeated measurements.

A document including basic operation rules and regulations for all departments during construction was gradually completed and applied to the engineering of the Fengman-Dongling-Lishizhai power transmission line. It was China's first design handbook and played a fundamental and instructive role in the country's power industry. Some of its calculations and design rules are still a part of the latest industrial standards.

Construction of the power line was completed on Jan 23, 1954, 67 days ahead of schedule.

China has gradually built an independent standard system of power planning and designing. Now, it has completed the Gezhouba Dam project, the Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant, ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plants and ultra-high voltage power transmission and transformation projects as well as the Hualong One - China's third generation nuclear power technology with completely independent intellectual property rights. But the very first handbook created from numerous trials and failures has never stopped shining in the development of the country's power industry.

(Executive editor: Wang Ruoting)