Three Gorges Probe

No room for errors as construction reaches critical stage: project official

February 7, 2002

He Gong, vice-president of the Three Gorges Project Corporation, spoke recently with the Three Gorges Daily saying that to meet the extremely tight schedule, "we have no time to waste and no room for errors."

 


Yichang – He Gong, vice-president of the Three Gorges Project Corporation, spoke recently with the Three Gorges Daily (Sanxia gongcheng bao) about how construction work is going at the world’s biggest dam site. He said that while progress has generally been smooth, the project is now at a critical juncture, and if the builders are to meet the challenge of an extremely tight schedule, “we have no time to waste and no room for errors.”

“We are facing a series of flaws in quality that have accumulated since the start of the project in 1994, which, if not resolved, will cost us a great deal in the future,” he told the daily newspaper, which is aimed at officials, engineers and workers involved in the dam project.

“If anything were to go wrong unexpectedly during this period – such as problems with project safety, quality or management – it would be a big blow and a direct threat to the goal of generating electricity from the first set of turbines in 2003. Actually, this is a real risk and potential problem, about which we are worrying constantly,” Mr. He was quoted as saying.

Of particular concern is the fact that turbines and high voltage electrical equipment is being imported from various foreign countries making their installation and smooth operation challenging, he said.

Also, Mr. He said that the schedule for dismantling the coffer dam, sealing off diversion channels, and testing the ship-lock was particularly tight because “we are inevitably going to face the merciless river, and, in particular, season floodwater.”

“From now on,” Mr. He warned, “we are in a race against time, as well as against floodwater.”

Meeting these deadlines for Three Gorges will be key to launching two other dams (the Xiluodu and Xiangjiaba) on the Jinsha River upstream of the Three Gorges. “We builders and workers on the Three Gorges project should all realize that we are already at a critical stage, so we should guard against arrogance and rashness, strengthen unity and achieve our goals.”

[Link to full text of the interview]

Categories: Three Gorges Probe

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