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The Three Gorges Project

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The Three Gorges Project is a hydroelectric gravity dam that is situated in the Yangtze River by the town of Sandouping, China. The Three Gorges Dam is the world’s major power station in terms of installed capacity, which is 22,500 Mega Watts. Each water turbine has a capacity of 700 Mega Watts.Connecting the dam’s 32 main turbines with two minor generators, 50 Mega Watts each, to power the plant itself, the total electric generating capacity of the dam is 22,500 Mega Watts. It has a 22-gate spillway, ship navigation and a ship lift.

In 2014, the dam generated 98.8 terawatt-hours (TWh) and had earned a world record. The gigantic size of the reservoir and the massive relocation the Three Gorges Dam Project caused was justified by the flood protection it provides for communities of China. An official count of 1.3 million people were relocated, which was completed on 22nd July 2008, however some reports claimed that further 4 million people will be moved away from the dam by 2020. Allegedly, funds for relocating 13,000 farmers vanished after being sent to the local government, leaving inhabitants without reimbursement. 13 cities, 140 towns, and around 1,600 villages have been submerged due to the world’s largest reservoir. 20,000 people have been hired on the construction of project. However, additional demolition and relocation is foreseeable.The Three Gorges condenses coal consumption by 31 million tonnes per year, avoiding 100 million tonnes of greenhouse gas discharges, 10,000 tonnes of carbon monoxide, millions of tonnes of dust, 370,000 tonnes of nitric oxide, a million tonnes of sulphur dioxide, and a substantial volume of mercury.

At existing levels, 80% of the land in the area is undergoing through erosion, which is depositing about 40 million tons of sediment into the Yangtze River, due to which hydrologists expect riverbanks to become more susceptible to flooding. It also causes recurrent major landslides that have led to obvious uproar in the reservoir surface.Over one billion tons of wastewater are released yearly into the river. This has left the water looking stagnant & contaminated. Already, the percentage of forested area in the region neighbouring the Three Gorges Dam has dropped from 20% to less than 10% percent, depressingly affecting all plant species in this locality. The government projected that the Three Gorges Dam project would cost US$28.1 billion. By the end of 2008, expenditure had touched $23.11 Billion, among which $10.09 billion dollars was consumed by construction, $10.71 billion on relocating affected inhabitants, and $2.37 billion on financing.

Full cost recovery was anticipated to occur 10 years, but the complete cost of the project was recovered by the end of 2013. Funding sources include the Three Gorges Dam Construction Fund, corporate bonds, profits from the Gezhouba Dam,, loans from local and overseas commercial banks, loans from the China Development Bank and revenue from the dam.

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