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China spent US$26.5B on Three Gorges Project
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As of the end of 2008, China had spent 181.5 billion yuan (US$26.5 billion) in dynamic investment, or 122.9 billion yuan in static investment, on the Three Gorges Hydropower Project on the upper reaches of the country's Yangtze River.

So far, 91 percent of the budget has been spent on the project. The total cost is not expected to surpass what has been budgeted, said Wang Xiaofeng, deputy director of the Committee of the Construction of the Three Gorges Project and the Three Gorges Project Office under the State Council.

The project is now in its final stage in both construction and resettlement. The government is still working on guidelines for carrying out long-term follow-up programs that are aimed at ensuring a stable life for the more than one million resettled people, protecting the environment and preventing geological disasters in the area.

According to the official, after nearly 17 years of construction, the Three Gorges Reservoir is now able to hold water that's 175 meters high. All 26 generators, 700,000 kw each, were put into operation in November.

Construction of the main body of the Three Gorges Dam is 100 percent qualified, with 95 percent of the engineering work officially appraised to be in excellent or good quality. Power transmission and transformation projects have stood the test of severe natural disasters.

To date, a total of 1,255,000 people have been relocated from the affected areas.

The underground power station and its transmission project, as well as the ship-lifting devices, will be completed by 2012 and 2014, respectively, Wang said.

(Xinhua News Agency March 27, 2009)

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