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World's Largest Generator Connected to Power Grids
The first power generator of China's Three Gorges Project, the largest of its kind in the world, was connected to the power grid to begin generating electricity at 01:31 am on Thursday morning, 20 days ahead of schedule.

Yang Qing, vice-general manager of the China Yangtze River Three Gorges Project Development Corporation, said the generating unit, known as the No.2 unit, will supply 12.9 million kwh per day to the Central China and East China Power Grids.

The unit will have to pass a 30-day trial operation period under the observation of engineers before beginning commercial production in mid-August, said Yang.

The 7,700-ton unit, built by a consortium comprised of Hewitt, Siemens and General Electric, has a generating capacity of 700,000 kw, according to the vice-general manager.

The integration into the two Chinese power grids followed a successful 72-hour trial period on July 7.

The first attempted trial operation on July 1 failed as it lasted about 68 hours, falling short of the 72 hours required.

The failure of a sensor in a water purification system providing cooling water for the unit triggered the shutdown of the operation. The second trial operation began on July 4.

The generating unit has been turned over to the Three Gorges Hydraulic Power Plant, which will assume its operational management.

A total of 26 generating units will be installed before the project is completed in 2009.

Launched in 1993, the Three Gorges Project will begin to pay dividends later this year, playing an important role in flood control, power generation, navigation, water diversion and environmental protection.

(Xinhua News Agency July 10, 2003)

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