The Three Gorges Dam, China

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The Three Gorges Dam, China

The Three Gorges Dam is a hydroelectric dam that spans the Yangtze River by the town of Sandouping, located in Yiling District, Yichang, Hubei province, China. The Three Gorges Dam is the world’s largest power station in terms of installed capacity (22,500 MW) but is second to Itaipu Dam with regard to the generation of electricity annually.

General  Quick Facts:

Type: Concrete Gravity Dam
Cost: Official cost $25bn - actual cost believed to be much higher
Work began: 1993
Due for completion: 2009
Power generation: 26 turbines on left and right sides of dam. Six underground turbines planned for 2010
Power output: 49 billion kilowatt-hours
Reservoir: 660km long, submerging 632 sq km of land. When fully flooded, water will be 175m above sea level
Navigation: Two-way lock system became operational in 2004. One-step ship elevator due to open in 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


Excavation: 102.6 million cubic meters of earth and stone (134 million cubic yards).
Concrete: 27.2 million cubic meters (35.5 million cubic yards).
Steel reinforcing bars: 354,000 tons.
Dam height: 185 meters (607 feet).

Dam length: 2,309 meters (1.4 miles) divided into three parts. In the center will be a 484-meter spillway section with 23 bottom outlets and 22 sluice gates. On the left and right of the spillway will be two giant power stations.
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