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Trial operation of Three Gorges generating unit ends
( 2003-07-08 09:33) (Xinhua)

The trial operation of the first power generating unit of China's Three Gorges Project was completed successfully on Monday, beginning generating power for power grids.

Yang Qing, vice-general manager of China Yangtze River Three Gorges Project Development Corporation, said the generating unit, known as the No.2 unit, would start a 30-day period of power generation for the grids before commencement of commercial production.

The successful trial operation came after failed attempt in the first trial operation, which began on July 1 and lasted about 68 hours, falling short of the 72 hours required.

The failure of a sensor in a water purification system providing cooling water for the unit triggered a shutdown of the operation. The second trial operation began on July 4.

The unit, built by a consortium of Hewitt, Siemens and General Electric, has a generating capacity 700,000 kW.

Meanwhile, experimental operation of the No. 5 unit began on July 7, and engineers are installing four other units.

A total of 26 generating units will be installed before the project is completed in 2009.

During their trial operation, the two units have generated 86 million kwh for the Central China Power Grid and East China Power Grid.

Launched in 1993, 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.

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