The Three Gorges Project saw its first turbine generator on its right bank roar into life on Monday after a 72-hour trial operation.
The 700,000-kilowatt No. 22 turbine's output will be pumped straight into the national grid, coming to serve energy-hungry eastern cities such as Shanghai. Current tests show it is running with a current output of 650,000 kwh.
This turbine is the first of the project's right-bank 12 turbines to come online and the number 26 is soon expected to start operation, after ending its final checkup. Alone, the No. 22 turbine should generate 3.9 million yuan (US$510,000) daily at its current output capacity, experts estimate.
The installation of the 12 turbines on the right bank, including eight China-made ones and four imported from overseas, began last June. The installation of the eight domestically-made turbines by China Gezhouba (Group) Corporation is expected to be completed in October next year, two or three months ahead of schedule. The remaining four, by Sino-hydro Corporation's Fourth Project Bureau, will be finished in May next year.
The 14 turbines on the left bank of the Gorges came online in September 2005 and have already produced 160 billion kwh of electricity by May.
The US$22.5 billion project originated back in 1993 on China's longest river, the Yangtze, and its 26 turbo-generators are intended to have a full annual output of 84.7 billion kwh after completion in 2008.
(Xinhua News Agency June 11, 2007)