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Three Gorges Dam to be completed by May

    YICHANG, Jan. 9 (Xinhuanet) -- Workers with the Three Gorges Project that is being built at the middle reaches of the Yangtze River were told to make concerted efforts and finish the half-done dam from the southern bank of the river to the height of 185 meters by May.

    In an interview with Xinhua, Li Yong'an, general manager of China Yangtze River Three Gorges Project Development and Construction Corporation, said the dam would be put into use when the summer flood season began, and the water level in the Three Gorges Reservoir would be rising to 156 meters after the flood season.

    By late 2005, the workers built the dam to the height of 160 meters from the southern bank of the Yangtze.

    In the meantime, the workers are requested to accomplish two more main tasks this year, namely, to complete the two-way five-tier shiplock facility built on the northern bank of the Yangtze and to prepare for the planned installation of 12 more turbogenerators on the southern bank in 2007 and 2008, according to the general manager.

    Launched in 1993, the Three Gorges Project, including a 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 preparations and construction of the first phase were carried out between 1993 and 1997. The Yangtze was dammed at the Three Gorges area for the first time on November 8, 1997.

    In accordance with the original plan, the Three Gorges Project,with an estimated cost of 180 billion yuan (approximately 21.7 billion US dollars), will have 26 generators with a combined generating capacity of 18.2 million kw.

    So far, the workers have completed most of the construction on the northern bank of the Yangtze, such as the 14 turbo-generators,which have been installed and put into power generation, and completed part of the dam from the northern bank of the river.

    According to Li, the turbogenerators on the northern bank of the Yangtze generated 49.09 billion kw/hour of electricity in 2005.

    The Three Gorges Project is expected to be completed in 2009 and by then, it will be able to generate 84.7 billion kwh of electricity annually. Enditem

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