YICHANG, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- The throughput of the five-tier ship lock of the Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest hydropower project, will reach a record high this year, according to an official.
With five fully loaded cargo ships entering the southern lock at 8 a.m. Saturday, the throughput through the project's ship lock reached 100.06 million tonnes, said Ji Yujian, head of the Three Gorges Navigation Administration.
The ship lock's throughput exceeded 100 million tonnes for the first time in 2011.
The ship lock has seen a passage of 40,848 cargo vessels and 2,461 passenger ships this year, with a daily throughput of 300,000 tonnes.
The economic growth along the Yangtze River and the robust passage demand have contributed to the throughput this year, according to Ji.
The Three Gorges project is a multi-functional water control system, consisting of a 2,309-meter-long and 185-meter-high dam, a five-tier ship lock, and 26 hydropower turbo-generators.
The project generates electricity, controls floods by storing excess water and helps to regulate the river's shipping capacity.