China has ordered a stop to construction work on 26 major power plant projects, citing a lack of proper environmental assessments. Work on four other big industrial and infrastructure projects has also been suspended, the State Environmental Protection Agency said. "Construction of these projects has started without approval of the assessment of their environmental impact… they are typical [cases of ] illegal projects of construction first, approval next," said SEPA vice-director Pan Yue. The biggest project to be affected is the Xiluodi Dam project on the upper reaches of the Yangtze, designed to produce 12,600 MW of electricity. Also suspended is work on two power stations related to the giant Three Gorges Dam project. In recent months Beijing has stepped up efforts to control projects licensed by local officials but without central government authority.
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