Fourteen power turbines on the Three Gorges Dam are ready to generate electricity, a local official said yesterday.
The turbines are capable of generating power in full load once the water level in the Three Gorges reservoir reaches the 148-meter mark, which has been recorded on Monday, said Ma Zhenbo, director of the Three Gorges Power Plant in Yichang, central China's Hubei Province.
The water level is currently being raised from 135.5 to 156 meters, and it reached 152.43 meters on Thursday.
The water storage started on Sept. 20 when one of the 14 power-producing generators was shut down to reduce water flowing downstream.
Water from the upstream is flowing into the Three Gorges reservoir at a rate of 16,300 cubic meters per second, satisfying demands of all the 14 turbines for power generation, Ma said.
In addition, the power turbines showed no abnormal signs since the water storage began, he said.
All the turbines started operation at 3 o'clock Thursday afternoon, preparing for instructions from superior authorities to generate power in full load, he said.
Launched in 1993, the Three Gorges Project, including a 2,309-meter-long, 185-meter-high dam with 26 power generators, is being built in three phases on the middle reaches of the Yangtze, China's longest river.
Currently, 14 power generators have been put into operation.
The gigantic project is expected to generate 84.7 billion kwh of electricity annually when it is finally completed in 2009.
(Xinhua News Agency October 13, 2006)