China's State Council has
authorized the Three Gorges power plant to raise the water level of
the reservoir from the current 135 meters to 156 meters.
The decision was made at a recent State Council
special committee meeting headed by Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan, Xinhua learnt Monday.
With the green light from the committee, the water
level at the world's highest dam will be raised to 156 meters after
this year's flood season.
The State Council committee based its decision on the
conclusion of a technical committee, which had earlier given its
blessing to the plan.
The committee agreed that the design, construction and
installation of all engineering projects at the Three Gorges power
plant on the Yangtze River have met design requirements, and that
all the commissioned structures are sound.
It concluded that the relocation of residents living
in the soon-to-be-submerged areas, and clearance of debris, have
been properly carried out and the water level can be
Located in Yichang City in central China's Hubei Province, the Three Gorges power plant
is the biggest in the world. When completed, it will have 26
generators with a combined capacity of 18.2 million kilowatts,
generating 84.7 billion kilowatt hours of electricity
Construction of the power plant began in 1993 with
approval from the National People's Congress, the country's top
legislative body. It is estimated to have cost 180 billion yuan
(approximately US$22.5. billion).
The main power project dam measures 2,309 meters long
and 185 meters high. It was completed on May 20 this
When completed in 2009, the reservoir water level will
reach 175 meters.
Urging relevant parties and authorities to monitor the
situation closely, Vice Premier Zeng said efforts to curb water
pollution and ward off possible geological disasters should be
stepped up to ensure that the reservoir is safe once the water
level has been raised.
(Xinhua News Agency September 12, 2006)