Throughput of the Three Gorges Dam reached 144 million tons in 2018, up 3.87% from a year earlier, of which 142 million tons flowed through the Three Gorges ship lock, 42% above designed capacity and setting a new record.
The Three Gorges ship lock has been operating safely and efficiently for 15 years and has already undergone five planned stoppages for maintenance. The operating efficiency of the lock has been greatly improved by implementing a 156-meter water-level four-tier operation and waiting for the lock in a lower chamber, by revamping the upstream and downstream berthing facilities, and by implementing new floating mooring posts.
The Three Gorges ship lift has been running smoothly for two years. Through actual ship trials, equipment and facilities adjustment and maintenance, and operation tests at different water levels in two cycles, the operation and management systems of the CTG ship lift have been steadily improved and the field operators have gained important experience and capability. As the first rack-and-rack ship lift in China, the Three Gorges ship lift promotes the rapid passage of ships through the dam, which together with the Three Gorges ship lock, allows big ships to use lock and small boats to take the elevator.
CTG Basin Management and Operation Department has successfully raised the throughput potential of the ship lock and improved the navigational flexibility of the Three Gorges Dam in 2018 as the authority employed a coordinated implementation of both technical and managerial methods, such as water replenishment during the dry season and flow discharge control during the flood season. This has also helped to ensure the safety of the Three Gorges waters and the smooth flow of the Golden Waterway of Yangtze River in the Three Gorges section.
In 2019, CTG will further optimize the shipping environment of the Three Gorges Dam to facilitate the development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt.