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Three Gorges project cuts carbon dioxide emission substantially
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Three Gorges Project, the world's biggest hydroelectric plant, has helped China reduce emitting 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide as of Friday.

The power plant has generated 223 billion kwh of electricity since its first generating units began operation in 2003, also avoiding the emission of 2.29 million tonnes of sulphur dioxide, according to the China Three Gorges Project Corporation.

Chinese coal-fired power plants would have burned about 90 million tonnes of coal to produce the same amount of electricity, the developer and operator of the dam project said.

The company said improved navigation capacity along the dam area also contributed to reduction in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission.

The Three Gorges, which consist of the Qutang, Wuxia and Xiling gorges, extends for about 200 kilometers on the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze River, the longest in China. They are a popular tourist destination, known for their natural beauty and historical and cultural relics.

China launched the Three Gorges Project, a multifunction water control facility, in 1993, with a budget of 22.5 billion U.S. dollars.

According to the original plan, the project requires the construction of key facilities, including a gigantic dam, a five-tier lock, a ship lift and 26 turbo-generators. It has involved the relocation of at least 1.2 million residents.

The 26 turbogenerators -- 14 on the northern bank and 12 on the southern bank -- have a designed annual capacity of 84.7 billion kwh of electricity.

The project is expected to greatly reduce the threat of floods on the Yangtze.

To date, workers have completed installation of 22 generators on both banks of the Yangtze.

(Xinhua News Agency May 10, 2008)

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