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Three Gorges Dam to begin full operation
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The 26 planned power-generation turbines of the Three Gorges Dam will be completed in November as the installation of the last one nears the end, developers said on Monday.

The 1,700-tonne turbine engine, a key part of the No. 15 generator, was installed on Monday, marking an important step towards the end of the project, said Ma Zhenbo, manager of the Three Gorges Hydropower Plant.

"The 700,000-kw turbine will begin full operation in November, one year ahead of the original plan."

The Three Gorges project has generated nearly 260 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity as of Monday since its first generator began production in July 2003. It helped reduce 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emission, according to the China Three Gorges Project Corporation, the project developer.

The 22.5 billion U.S. dollar project was launched in 1993. Originally, its plan called for the 26 generators, 14 on the left bank and 12 on the right, to produce 84.7 billion kwh of electricity annually upon its completion. It was expanded further to include six more turbines by 2012.

The electricity generated by the project fuels 15 provinces in central, eastern and southern China, easing a severe power shortage in industrial regions.

(Xinhua News Agency September 9, 2008)

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