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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 13:43, March 09, 2005
Three initial benefits achieved at Three Gorges Project
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The Three Gorges project, a project of splendid magnificence of the Chinese nation has so far been the extra-large project on the globe. For over half a century every step forward of the project has caught the great attention of the world. Up to the moment, the project now still underway for construction has already begun to display its great benefits in the prevention of floods, power-generating and navigation and some other aspects.

Flood water runs eastward head-bowing
The Yangtze River flood-water has always been a serious hidden trouble for the Chinese nation. According to the record in history during the long period of 2117 years from 206BC to 1911AD there had seen 214 times of big floods along the Yangtze River, an average of once every 10 years. And since the beginning of the 20th century there had happened four times of extra-serious floods in 1931, 1935, 1954 and 1998 respectively.

However, the Three Gorges project at Xiling Gorge of the Yang5tze River with its quite favorable geographical location retained successfully the flood water from the Gorges in the Three Gorges, which had not only controlled effectively the water down from the upper reaches but also helped release the pressure for the prevention of flood water along the middle and lower reaches of the river, especially for along the section of the Jinjiang Embankment. It has become the key project for taming the Yangtze River and for the eradication of the flood.

On 8 September 2004, the flood peak water volume reached 60,500 cubic meters per second when it came to the dam area of the Three Gorges. This is the biggest flood following that of 1998 and also the first-time serious "ordeal" after the Three Gorges Reservoir started to retain water. To alleviate the pressure of flood prevention along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and effect a curb on the flood peak for regulating the water, the water-mark in the reservoir was raised from 135 meters to a height of 136.2 meters during the flooding period, retaining a water-storage of around 500 million cubic meters. This has not only ensured the safety operation of hydropower turbines but also released the flood pressure along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. The Three Gorges project still underway for construction has already displayed an initial effect for the prevention of floods.

Mitigated the "power shortage", a matter of crucial urgency
The designed installation capacity at the Three Gorges project is 18.20 million kilowatts/hours. When the 26 sets of hydropower turbines of 700.000 kilowatts are all put into operation, the annual power-generating capacity can reach an average of 84.7 billion kilowatts/hours. The power supply of the Three Gorges project will cover the mid-China, east China, Sichuan and Chongqing and the power-grid in south China. The power-covered area includes Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Shanghai and Guangdong as well as Sichuan and Chongqing, a total of 11 provinces and cities.

In 2004 we saw from the Three Gorges to Shanghai a power transmission of 8 billion kilowatts/hours, the same as that to Guangdong. And up to 31 December 2004, a total of 11 sets of hydropower turbines were put into operation. The accumulated power-generating volume came to a total of 47.795 billion kilowatts/hours, an equivalent saving of 26 million tons of raw coal and its corresponding transportation.

The "golden water-channel" presents more charms than ever
Since the Three Gorges project began to store water the conditions along the waterways have been greatly improved and the Three Gorges water area has begun to become a "golden water-channel".

Last year witnessed a total sluice-gate operation of 8719 times with a total of 75,000 ship/times to ply in and fro through the gate and a passenger flow of 1.72 million person/times and the goods transport to have reached 34.30 million tons. The annual goods transport volume passing through the sluice gate has seen double that of 18 million tons (the highest transport volume) since the completion of the hinge project at Gezhou Dam.

By People's Daily Online

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