THREE GORGES, Wuhan, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Three Gorges project on the Yangtze River in Yichang City, Hubei Province, is a multi-functional water control system consisting of a dam stretching 2,309 meters long and 185 meters high, 32 hydropower turbo-generators, a five-tier ship lock and a shiplift.
The project controls flood waters, generates electricity and helps to regulate the river's shipping traffic.
The construction plan was passed by the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, in April 1992.
Construction on the project, which cost over 200 billion yuan (33 billion U.S. dollars), began in December 1994. Some 1.3 million people were relocated to make way for the project.
The Yangtze, the world's third-longest river, was successfully blocked on Nov. 8, 1997, marking the completion of the first stage of Three Gorges project.
In June 2003, the Three Gorges Project saw water stored behind the dam rise to 135 meters for the first time.
Also in the same month, the permanent ship lock at the Three Gorges Project opened for a one-year trial navigation period.
The dam's first generator went into operation in July, 2003.
In a full-capacity storage test, the water level at the dam hit its highest designed mark of 175 meters for the first time in 2010.
Starting from July 2012, the Three Gorges Dam began working at full capacity as the last of its 32 large turbine generators was put into operation, realizing a combined generating capacity of 22.5 million kw.
The trial of the world's largest shiplift at the dam began on Sept. 18, 2016, marking the completion of the Three Gorges project 22 years after construction began.