Three Gorges Dam Construction: Schedule from 1992 to 2009

The Three Gorges Dam had been planned for nearly 100 years. As early as in 1918, Sun Yat-sen, the pioneer of China’s revolution in modern times, had put forward a proposal to build a dam on the Yangtze River. In 1992, the Three Gorges Dam construction was officially approved and the preparation work started soon later. In 1994, the construction work on site began, which mainly includes the dam, hydropower station and navigation structures. In 2006, the dam was completed. It was not until 2009 that the whole project was fully completed. The construction was marked by three stages.

Schedule of Three Gorges Dam Project

Stage 3: 2004–2009, The Project Was Fully Completed as All Generating Units Were Installed.

Sep.15th, 2009
The actual experience of raising the water level to 175 meters (191 yard) was started. Hence, the multiple roles of flood control, electricity generation, navigation and so on would be brought into full play.

Aug.29th, 2009
The anticipated annual electricity generation is 84.6 billion kilowatt hoursThe water level in the reservoir was tested to raise to the ideal height of 175 meters, which was the last acceptance check of the 3rd-stage of the Three Gorges Project.

Oct.29th, 2008
The No.15 hydropower unit on the right bank was put into operation. It is the last set of Three Gorges Dam to generate power. So far, all of the 26 hydropower units had been run for power generation.

Sep 25th, 2007
The dam was impounded after the flood. By then, the water level would reach 145-156 meters (476 -512 feet).

May 20th, 2006
Through the hard work and good cooperation of everyone, the dam of Three Gorges Project was completed.

May 11th, 2006
The first generating unit on the right bank started to be assembled, signifying the beginning of the installation work of the 12 power-generation sets on the right bank.

April 21st–24th, 2006
During these four days, the then Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao made an inspection in Chongqing to discuss the migration problems caused by Three Gorges Dam construction.

Five-level ship locks of Three Gorges Dam March 29th, 2006
The final construction to close the Three Gorges Dam started.

Feb.10th, 2006
The clearing work of the Three Gorges Dam was carried out.

Sep.16th, 2005
All the fourteen generating sets on the left bank were put into production, which was one year ahead of schedule.

Dec.28th, 2004
The electricity route which delivers electric power to Shanghai went into operation in Yidu City in Hubei Province.

Aug.24th, 2004
No.8 power generation set on the left bank began to generate electricity.

July 26th, 2004
No.11 power generation set on the left bank was put into use to generate power.

July 8th, 2004
Having passed the acceptance standard, the permanent ship lock was formally opened to navigation after the trial navigation period.

Apr. 30th, 2004
No.7 power generation set on the left bank was put into production.

Jan. 9th, 2004
The third stage of the Three Gorges Dam construction began, during which the dam and the power station on right bank, as well as the world’s largest ship lifter were completed.

Stage 2: 1998 – 2003: Water Storage in the Reservoir & Navigation of Permanent Ship Lock

Nov. 22nd, 2003
No.1 power generation set was connected to the grid and began to generate electricity.

Nearly-completed five-level ship locks on April 14, 2003 Aug. 18th, 2003
No. 3 power generation set was connected to the grid and began to generate electricity.

July 10th, 2003
No.2 power generation set was connected to the grid and put into production.

June 16th, 2003
The double-lane and five-step ship lock was completed to let ships pass.

June 1st, 2003
The permanent ship lock with double-lane and five-step was tested, and the reservoir began to store water.

May 30th, 2003
The No.20, No.21, No.22 and No.23 flood discharge outlets were opened.

The body part of the Dam under construction on Aug 6, 2001 Nov. 7th, 2002
The biggest hydraulic turbine generator rotor in the world had been successfully hoisted into position.

Nov. 6th, 2002
The diversion tunnel of the Yangtze River had been successfully dammed.

Oct. 21st, 2002
The construction of the flood discharge embankment had been completed.

May 1st, 2002
The upstream cofferdam was destroyed after having successfully fulfilled its historic mission, allowing the rolling eastward Yangtze River to rush into the foundation pit of the Three Gorges Dam, which paved the way of the further construction.

Dec.31st, 2001
The concrete deposit for the Three Gorges Dam in the year totalled 4.0638 million m³, which broke the world record for the third year in a row.

Sep.15th, 2000
The 22 bottom holes for diversion in the flood discharge section were sealed.

Oct.8th, 1998
The tunnel of ship lock was dug and concreting started.

May 1st, 1998
Five-level ship locks under construction on Aug 6, 2001The construction of the temporary ship lock started.

Stage 1: 1994–1997, Yangtze River Was Dammed

Nov.8th, 1997
Yangtze River was successfully dammed.

Oct.6th, 1997
The damming of the diversion channel was formally opened to navigation.

Apr.18th, 1995
The left bank power generation set construction began.

Dec.14th, 1994
The grand commencement ceremony of the Three Gorges Project was solemnly held on the site of the Three Gorges Dam.

Preparations for Three Gorges Dam Construction: 1992–1994

Apr.3rd, 1992
The Fifth Session of the Seventh National People's Congress approved the Three Gorges Dam's construction. Following that, a lot of preparations were made, including establishing the organization to manage the project, raising funds, designing the dam in detail, commandeering land and migrating, etc.

- Last updated on Jun. 01, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on Three Gorges Dam Construction
Asked by jef from INDONESIA | Apr. 03, 2014 02:36Reply
how many farmland to be submerged during the construction of Three Gorge Dam?
Answers (1)
Answered by Kate | Apr. 03, 2014 20:50

about 29,670 square kilometers (11,455 square miles) farmland was submerged.
Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)