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German Firms to Design Three Gorges Shiplift
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Two German engineering companies have been awarded the contracts to jointly design the world's largest shiplift for the world's largest hydropower project, the Three Gorges Dam.

The agreements were confirmed by both China Yangtze River Three Gorges Development Corporation, developer of the dam project, and the Survey and Design Institute of the Yangtze Water Resources Committee (YWRC).

The vertical-hoisting shiplift will raise vessels to higher water levels on the upstream side of the dam much more quickly than the current five-stage lock.

China completed construction of the world's largest dam on Saturday in the Three Gorges area, central China's Hubei Province, a milestone accomplishment in the mammoth Three Gorges water control project that aims to tame the flood-prone Yangtze River, the nation's longest.

At 2 PM on Saturday, the final load of concrete was laid into the 2,309-meter-long, 185-meter-high main wall of the dam.

The shiplift will be the first Sino-foreign cooperation in the dam project, which has otherwise been designed and developed domestically.

Construction on the Three Gorges dam began in 1994.

The two German companies, Lahmeyeb and Krebs und Kiefer (K & K), have been given until year's end to submit designs for the ship containment portion of the structure.

"The introduction of foreign cooperation in the project designing is aimed at guaranteeing safety," said Li Yong'an, general manager of the Three Gorges development corporation.

(China Daily May 22, 2006)

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