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Using Best to Ensure Dam Quality
China has employed the most advanced building equipment and the best construction workers to ensure both the longevity and high standard of safety of the colossal Three Gorges Project, said senior engineers in charge of the project.

Zhang Chaoran, chief engineer of the China Yangtze River Three Gorges Project Development Corporation, said the project had enlisted China's foremost construction team, the world's most advanced equipment and the latest technology.

The safety of a dam is decided by the quality of concrete used, said the engineer, adding that the concrete used in the Three Gorges Project was at least 10 times better than that used to build ordinary dams.

Domestic and foreign experts have also been invited to supervise the extraordinary project. The latest conclusions of a committee of renowned Chinese scientists, reported that the general quality of the project was good and satisfied design requirements.

Li Haibo, a senior engineer in charge of concrete testing at the dam site, said the construction company had taken effective measures to guarantee the high quality of the project.

"We have construction material of world-class quality," said Li, of the Testing Centre of the Gezhouba Group, a leading construction company in damming and hydropower .

He said the 185-metre high concrete dam is comprised of granite of an enduring and unyielding quality, cement and high grade fly ash.

"The hard igneous rock, as the bone material of the dam, can be easily obtained near the dam site, and I can say it's among the world's highest quality rock," said Li.

Li also boasted of the round-the-clock, quality supervision that had been a feature of the dam construction work.

"Starting from raw material selection, to material mixing and sub-project completion, we are supervising the process," said Li.

Since 1998, when the second phase of the massive project started, about 50,000 concrete sampling tests have been conducted by Li's centre. "Nearly all of them have met the requirements. Compared with 160 dam concrete proportions worldwide, ours is taking the lead," he said.

Li said his sense of responsibility was born out of a love for his country.

"This is a project which is aimed at benefiting the nation and I'm proud to participate in it, he remarked," adding that he believed flood-control was the project's main benefit.

Scrupulous supervision of the Three Gorges Project was also a paramount requirement of China's leadership.

Recently, Premier Zhu Rongji urged those tasked with constructing the dam to spare no effort in guaranteeing the quality of the project, by even stricter supervision of the building process.

(China Daily November 7, 2002)

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