Three Gorges Dam ship locks celebrate 21st birthday

2024-06-19 16:06:09
Journalist: Wang Ying
Correspondent: Wu Qionglu

Translator and English Editor: Chen Zai
On June 18, the Three Gorges Dam ship locks celebrated its 21st birthday. By that day, the ship locks have been used 204,300 times, helping 1,035,300 vessels with 12,261,700 passengers and 2.077 billion tons of cargo pass through, as stated by the Three Gorges Navigation Authority. The ship locks have significantly supported safe and smooth transportation on the Yangtze River – China's "golden waterway.”
The Three Gorges Dam ship locks are the world's largest inland ship locks with the most tiers, the biggest water-level difference, and the most complex operating conditions. They serve as a critical junction on the Yangtze River.
A bird’s-eye view of the Three Gorges Dam ship locks
Photo by Lin Hai
With the rapid development of areas along the Yangtze River and improvements in navigational conditions within the Three Gorges Reservoir area, the cargo throughput of locks has been steadily increasing since its opening in 2003.
The waterway in the Three Gorges Reservoir area
Photo by Wu Qionglu
To meet growing demands, the Three Gorges Navigation Authority has continuously improved the efficiency of the ship locks. The average daily number of lock operations has increased from 17.5 in 2003 to 31 at present. The average cargo tonnage per passage has risen from 3,140 tons in 2003 to 15,264 tons now. For 10 consecutive years, the annual cargo throughput has exceeded 100 million tons.
Vessels loaded with container cargo are passing through the Three Gorges Dam ship locks.
Photo by Lin Hai
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