Three Gorges Dam targets full-capacity run

Updated: 2011-09-10 14:59


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YICHANG, Hubei - The Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest water control and hydropower project, started collecting water early Saturday in an effort to reach full-capacity by the end of October, said an official with the project.

The dam in Central China's Hubei province is holding water back by discharging less to the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the country's longest river. The operation could last until the end of October or November, the official said.

The water level had been at 152 meters before the damming began on Saturday, but it will rise by 23 meters over the next two months, he added.

It will be the second time for the reservoir to run at full capacity after its first full-capacity test in October 2010.

Operating at full capacity should give full play to the dam's functions of generating hydroelectric power, delivering water to the lower reaches to alleviate spring droughts, and containing water from summer flooding, as required by the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

The Three Gorges Project was launched in 1993 with a budget equivalent to $22.5 billion.

Its main components are the dam, a five-tier ship lock, and 26 hydropower turbo-generators. Its key functions include flood control and power generation.

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