As a clean energy project, operation of the Three Gorges Project, the world's largest hydropower project, will help China reduce consumption of 50 million tons of coal per year, thus benefiting the environment in China and its neighboring countries.
Xie Xiufa, a senior engineer with the Three Gorges Bureau under the Yangtze River Water Resources Committee, said in an interview with Xinhua the generating capacity of the Three Gorges power plant is equivalent to seven thermal power plants with each having an installed capacity of 2.6 million kilowatts.
By saving a large amount of coal, China will reduce the discharge of 100 million tons of carbon dioxide, 2 million tons of sulfur dioxide and 10,000 tons of carbonic oxide, greatly alleviating air pollution in China, Xie said.
The project will also contribute a lot to flood control at the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, he added.
Every large-scale project has both negative and positive effects on surrounding environment he said, noting that only by taking effective measures, can people minimize the negative factors.
Up to now, the Three Gorges Project has produced no major negative effects on the water quality, geological condition and climate change in surrounding areas, he said.
Launched in 1993, the Three Gorges Project, including the 185-m-high dam and 26 generators on both banks of the Yangtze, is being built in three phases on the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, China's longest.
The project is designed to control flooding on the Yangtze River and increase China's electricity production. When the entire project is completed in 2009, it will be able to generate 84.7 billion kwh of electricity annually.