The Three Gorges Project has completed trial water storage operations for the year, with the water level in the reservoir exceeding 172 meters.
As of Tuesday, the water level had risen 27.3 m since September 28, when this year's storage plan began, said the developer of the massive water conservancy project, the China Three Gorges Project Corp. (CTGPC) on Friday.
The water-raising measures ended on Tuesday when the water behind the dam reached 172.3 m and the reservoir held more than 19.3 billion cubic meters of water. The reservoir then began to discharge water.
Generally speaking, the trial operation, which is a test of quality, went well. The structure, generators and shipping locks were all in normal condition and the water quality was not affected, said a CTGPC statement.
The water level is expected to reach 175 m in 2009 when the Three Gorges project is completed.
At 156 m, the target level for the second phase, the reservoir could be fully functional in terms of flood control, power generation and navigation control.
Launched in 1993, construction of the gigantic concrete structure of the dam was completed and began to store water in May 2006.
Previously, the reservoir's temporary cofferdams held water at a depth of 135 to 139 m.
The Three Gorges Project, with a budget equivalent to US$22.5 billion, is a multi-functional water control system built at the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze River.
Its main works are a dam, a five-tier ship lock and 26 hydropower turbo-generators.
The dam will have 14 turbo-generators on the left bank and 12 on the right. Combined, they will produce 84.7 billion kw of electricity annually.
There are plans to add six more turbines by 2012.
As of June, 1.24 million residents had been relocated to make way for the dam construction.
(Xinhua News Agency November 9, 2008)