China plans financial overhaul at Three Gorges Dam

The operator of China's giant Three Gorges Dam plans to overhaul its finances after the government made a suprising admission last week that the world's largest hydroelectric project has urgent environmental, geologic and economic problems.

The China Three Gorges Corp. said a government audit found 31 problems related to financial management, investment, bidding and other issues, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday.

"Ten of the problems mentioned in the audit findings have already been rectified, and we are still working on the other problems," said a vice manager of the company, Sha Xianhua, according to Xinhua.

Xinhua said the company was one of several major state-owned enterprises found by auditors to have financial problems, but it gave no details.

The Cabinet on Wednesday acknowledged the $23 billion dam required action to curb pollution, counter risks of possible natural disasters and improve life for the 1.4 million people who were forced to relocate.

The statement promised a cleaner, more sustainable future for the scenic section of the Yangtze River that was dammed to create a 410-mile-long (660-kilometer-long) reservoir.

Further details have not been disclosed on addressing the social and environmental issues.

The Three Gorges Dam has been controversial since it was conceived decades ago as a way to control flooding and provide power for China's industrial boom.

Pressure on the Yangtze as a source of water for industry, homes and farming has mounted amid one of the region's worst droughts in decades.