The "West-to-East Electricity Transmission," the "West-to-East Gas Transmission," and the "South-to-North Water Diversion" are the government's three key strategic projects, aimed at realigning overall economic development and achieving rational distribution of national resources across China. The "West-to-East Electricity Transmission" project is in full swing, involving hydropower and coal resources in western China and the construction of new power transmission channels to deliver electricity to the east. The southern power grid line, transmitting three million kw from Guizhou to Guangdong, was completed in September 2004. The "West-to-East Gas Transmission" project includes a 4,000-km trunk pipeline running through 10 provinces, autonomous regions or municipalities, conveying natural gas to cities in northern and eastern China. This was finished in October 2004 and has a design capacity of 12 billion cu m per year. Construction of the "South-to-North Water Diversion" project was officially launched on 27th December 2002 and completion of Phase I is scheduled for 2010; this will relieve serious water shortfall in northern China and realize a rational distribution of the water resources of the Yangtze, Yellow, Huaihe, and Haihe river valleys.
In 2003, after a decade of hard work, another key national project --the Three Gorges Dam --began to impound water, opened its permanent locks to navigation and sent power to the grid from its first generating units. It is designed to install 26 sets of generators, each with a generating capacity of 700,000 kw. When fully operational, the annual output of the Three Gorges Power Plant will reach 84.7 billion kw, produced from 26 sets of generators, each set able to meet the needs of a 1,000,000 population city.
Another key national project, the 1,142 km-long Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the highest railway in the world, will be completed in 2006.