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Gov't to Audit Three Gorges Dam Project
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China's national audit office will begin a comprehensive audit in March of the Three Gorges Project, the world's largest hydropower project.

Li Yong'an, general manager of the China Three Gorges Project Corporation, said his company is making necessary preparations to support the audit.

"This is an essential national project," he said.

The project, which has been under construction for 12 years, is expected to cost 180 billion yuan (approximately US$21.7 billion). It is designed to have a combined generating capacity of 18.2 million kw when it's completed in 2009.

The project, situated in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, had generated a total of 100 billion kwh of electric power as of February 10 on 14 turbo generators already installed and operated on the north bank.

Another twelve turbo generators are to be installed on the south bank, the first of which will begin power production in 2007.

In addition to hydropower generation, the project is expected to play a crucial role in flood control and navigation.

(Xinhua News Agency February 17, 2006)

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