Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Wednesday, June 11, 2003
Three Gorges Reservoir Completes Water Storage
The water level of the Three Gorges Reservoir reached the predetermined 135 meters at 10:00 p.m. (Beijing Time) Tuesday, five days ahead of schedule. Meanwhile, testing of two generator units at the Left-Bank Power Station of the Three Gorges project started on Tuesday.
The water level of the Three Gorges Reservoir reached the predetermined 135 meters at 10:00 p.m. (Beijing Time) Tuesday, five days ahead of schedule.
The reservoir of the Three Gorges Project, the largest water control project in the world, has stored 10 billion cubic meters of water since the sluice gates were closed on June 1.
With the growth in the water level, the first two power generating units began trial operations Tuesday, and the Yangtze River, China's longest river on which the project is located, will reopen for navigation on June 16.
"Successful completion of water storage means the Three Gorges Project has overcome the first challenge of nature," said Zhang Chaoran, chief engineer of the Three Gorges Project Development Corporation.
Three Gorges generators tests begin
Testing of two generator units at the Left-Bank Power Station of the Three Gorges project started on Tuesday.
The five-day test was part of the preparation for the station's trial run on June 15, said Qin Xixiang, deputy general engineer, Yangtze River Three Gorges Project Development Corporation.
The test was conducted on the No. 2 and No. 5 generators, each boasting installed capacity of 700,000 kilowatts, the largest in the nation. Normal operation of the two generators would start on Aug. 1, said Qin.
An additional two units will be put into operation in October and the power station will provide some 5.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity by the end of this year.
With investment totaling 180 billion yuan (22 billion U.S. dollars), the massive Three Gorges Project has installed capacity of 18,200,000 kilowatts. When all the works are completed in 2009,the whole electricity generated by the project will hit 84.68 billion kilowatt-hours each year.
The Three Gorges Project embodied the pursuit and hard struggle of several generations of the Chinese people, he said. It was a milestone in China's efforts to harness big rivers.
The Yangtze River, with its source on the Tanggula Range on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, has 3,600 tributaries and its trunk course has a total length of 6,300 km. The river and its tributaries run through 18 provinces with a total population of 400 million, accounting for one third of China's total population.
On average, there has been one devastating flood every 10 years on the river over the past 2,100 years. The two big floods in the 1930s alone killed nearly 300,000 people. Harnessing the river has become a dream of the Chinese people. At the end of the 18th century, Sun Yat-sen, the forerunner of the Chinese revolution, proposed the building of a dam at the Three Gorges.
Since the founding of New China in 1949, the Chinese government has placed construction of the project high on its agenda. The National People's Congress, the highest legislature of China, officially approved the 180-billion-yuan Three Gorges Project in 1992.
During the 10-year construction, Chinese workers have set a series of technical records.
The Three Gorges Project will begin to pay dividends this year, playing an important role in flood control, power generation, navigation, water diversion and environmental protection.
Launched in 1993, the construction of the Three Gorges Project is scheduled for completion in 2009.