Three Gorges Dam, the World’s largest Dam from China
Three Gorges Dam become the world’s largest Dam. It’s larger than Itaipu Dam in Brazil that previously hold the record. The Three Gorges Dam is a hydroelectric river dam that spans the Yangtze River in the town of Sandouping, located in Yiling District of Yichang, Hubei province, China. It is the world’s largest electricity-generating plant of any kind.
The dam body was completed in 2006. Except for a planned ship lift, all of the originally planned components of the project were completed on October 30, 2008, when the 26th generator was brought into commercial operation. Currently, it contains 32 main generators, each with a capacity of 700 MW. Six additional generators in the underground power plant are being installed and are not expected to become fully operational until around 2011. With 2 small generators (50 MW each) to power the plant itself, the total electric generating capacity of the dam will eventually reach 22,500 MW.The project produces hydroelectricity, increases the river’s navigation capacity, and reduces the potential for floods downstream by providing flood storage space. Up to September 2009 the dam has generated 348.4 TWh of electricity, covering more than one third of its project cost.
The project management and the Chinese state regard the project as a historic engineering, social and economic success,a breakthrough in the design of large turbines,and a move toward the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. However, the dam has also flooded archaeological and cultural sites and displaced some 1.24 million people, and is causing significant ecological changes, including an increased risk of landslides. The building of the dam has been a controversial topic both in China and abroad.
Three Gorges Dam
Three Gorges Dam China from other side
Three Gorges Dam Vital Statistics
Dimensions : 185 m (606 ft) high and 1,983 m (6,500 ft) broad
Water Level Increase: Water level is planned to rise in 2 stages; by 2004 it will increase by 30 m to 125m (426 ft) and by 2009 will increase another 50m to 175 m (575 ft)
Cost Estimate : 1985 Chinese estimate of US$10 Billion is acknowledged to be too low. Estimates abound from 2 to 5 times that amount
Financing : Mostly from a national energy tax; other portions have been raised from government bonds
Materials Used : 10.8 million tons of cement, 1.9 million tons of rolled steel and 1.6 million tons of timber
Construction Period : 1993 – 2009
Land submerged : 13 cities, 140 towns, 1352 villages, 657 factories & 30,000 hectares of cultivated land
Relocation of People : 1.3 million to be relocated in 3 stages in 1997, 2003 & 2009
Energy Production : 84 Billion kilowatt hours per year; enough to supply 11-15% of China’s energy.
Three Gorges Dam At night