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Official Upbeat about Wednesday's Damming at Three Gorges
An official in charge of the damming of the diversion canal of the world's largest hydro-power project on the Yangtze River said Tuesday he is confident about the procedure on Wednesday.

Cao Guangjing, deputy manager of the China Yangtze River Three Gorges Project Development Corp., said at the construction site that by Saturday afternoon, workers had nearly completed damming the canal upstream, leaving an opening about 35 meters wide, and a25-meter opening downstream.

The river was flowing downstream at a speed of 8,500 cubic meters per second, about 2,000 cubic meters less than engineers had expected and prepared for.

Therefore, it would be easier than expected to dam the canal, said the deputy manager.

Shipping has been banned from the 3.5-km diversion channel built for navigation of the river during the second-phase construction of the Three Gorges project.

Construction on the project began in 1993 and is expected to be completed in 2009, when 26 power generating units with a combined capacity of 18.2 million kilowatts will go into operation.

Permanent locks will accommodate ships of more than 10,000 DWT (dead weight tonnage).

(Xinhua News Agency November 6, 2002)

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