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The Three Gorges Project –the World’s Largest Hydropower Station

This hydropower project is on the Yangtze River, 38 kilometers west of Yichang City, Hubei Province in central China. The construction started in 1992 and its main part was completed on May 20, 2006. The whole project is planned to complete in three phases or 18 years. The first-phase project lasted for five years from 1992 to 1997, the second- phase project lasted for six years from 1998 to 2003 and the third phase project is planned to complete in 2009, lasting for six years. After the dam was completed the water level can be raised to 1{30 meters and the reservoir will be 600 kilometers long and 2,000 meters wide at maximum, covering an area of 10,000 square kilometers.

The Three Gorges Project is composed of the dam, hydropower station and navigation buildings. The axis of the dam is 2,309.47 meters long (the top of the dam is 3,035 meters long) and 185 meters high. The hydropower station is equipped with 26 700,000 kw generators, with an installed generating capacity of 18.2 million kwh. The annual generating capacity totals 84.68 billion kwh. The sluice gate has its maximum capacity of 102,500 cubic meters per second. The navigation facilities are comprised of a permanent ship lock and a ship-raising machine.

The construction of” the Three Gorges Project has made the dream of the Chinese people into true. The project has played a strong beneficial role in flood prevention, power generation and navigation. As a result, its construction has freed 15 million local people and 1.5 million hectares of farmland from floods. The hydropower station has produced half of electricity China needs. The navigation condition of the river has improved greatly so that the 10,00(I-ton class ships can ran from Shanghai directly to Chongqing. The Three Gorges Project is a new Great Wall Project built by the Chinese people and is one of the wonders in the construction of water conservancy projects in the world.

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