Three Gorges project enters final year construction

Updated: 2008-01-03 19:41

YICHANG -- Construction of the world's largest hydro-power project at the Three Gorges in central China's Hubei Province has entered the final year sprint, with the installation of remaining power generators ahead, said the construction undertaker.

Cao Guangjing, deputy manager of the China Yangtze River Three Gorges Project Development Corporation (CYRTGPDC) told Xinhua Thursday that the work schedule for this year has been finalized and submitted to authorities for approval.

"The main work of the hydro-power construction would be ready for state checks by the end of 2008," said Cao.

Cao said that the water level of the reservoir will be raised to 175 meters for the first time in September this year, enabling it to exert a more decisive role in flood control.

All of the 12 turbines on the right bank of the gigantic Three Gorges project will be installed and put into use by December, leaving behind only works of affiliated projects, such as the installation of shiplifts and the building of an underground power workshop, scheduled for completion in 2014 and 2010, respectively, said Cao.

The concrete placement of the 2,309 meters long and 185 meters high main dam was completed in May 2006, when Cao announced that all of the construction milestone throughout the project had been met ahead of schedule, making it possible for the entire project to be completed a year earlier than the scheduled 2009.

The 22.5-billion-U.S.-dollar project is the world's largest water control project, which recruited 26,000 people, including professionals and specialists from 50-odd countries and regions, at the peak of its construction.

"Not many earthworks are left. Most of the workers have departed the construction site. There are less than 2,000 workers here now," said Cao.

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