What do you know about Three Gorges Dam

Facts about Three Gorges Dam

 three gorges damThe Three Gorges Dam is located in Yiling District, Yichang city, Hubei province, China. It is the world's largest power station. The Three Gorges Dam project was complete in 2006. It is not only a power station, but also an important dam to increase the Yangtze River's shipping capacity and reduce the potential for floods downstream by providing flood storage space.

History of the Three Gorges Dam

A large dam across the Yangtze River was originally envisioned by Sun Yat-sen in The International Development of China, in 1919.He stated that a dam capable of generating 30 million horsepower (22 GW) was possible downstream of the Three Gorges. In 1932, the Nationalist government, led by Chiang Kai-shek, began preliminary work on plans in the Three Gorges. In 1939, Japanese military forces occupied Yichang and surveyed the area. A design, the Otani plan, was completed for the dam in anticipation of a Japanese victory over China.


Composition and dimensions of Three Gorges Dam

Made of concrete and steel, the dam is 2,335 m (7,661 ft) long and the top of the dam is 185 metres (607 ft) above sea level. The project used 27.2 million cubic metres (35.6×106 cu yd) of concrete (mainly for the dam wall), 463,000 tonnes of steel (enough to build 63 Eiffel Towers) and moved about 102.6 million cubic metres (134.2×106 cu yd) of earth. The concrete dam wall is 181 metres (594 ft) high above the rock basis.

Economics of the Three Gorges Dam

The government estimated that the Three Gorges Dam project would cost 180 billion yuan (US$22.5 billion). By the end of 2008, spending had reached 148.365 billion yuan, among which 64.613 billion yuan was spent on construction, 68.557 billion yuan on relocating affected residents, and 15.195 billion yuan on financing. It is estimated that the construction cost will be recovered when the dam has generated 1,000 terawatt-hours (3,600 PJ) of electricity, yielding 250 billion yuan. Full cost recovery is expected to occur ten years after the dam starts full operation 

Enviromental Impact of Three Gorges Dam

According to the National Development and Reform Commission of China, 366 grams of coal would produce 1 kWh of electricity during 2006. At full power, Three Gorges reduces coal consumption by 31 million tonnes per year, avoiding 100 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions,millions of tonnes of dust, one million tonnes of sulfur dioxide, 370,000 tonnes of nitric oxide, 10,000 tonnes of carbon monoxide, and a significant amount of mercury. Hydropower saves the energy needed to mine, wash, and transport the coal from northern China.