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China to Build a Second Ship Lock at the Three Gorges Dam

According to a report from 21st Century Business Herald, building a second ship lock at the Three Gorges Dam may become a priority project to break the bottleneck in the Yangtze River’s shipping. If there is a fog or wind, ships will pile up waiting to pass the ship lock. Normally it takes three to five days. In the event the ship lock is under repair, the wait to pass the Three Gorges Dam can be between seven and 10 days, or even longer. 

The Ministry of Transportation recently released a government report showing that, in 2013, the average wait time to pass the Three Gorges Dam was about 10 days. The one way capacity of the first ship lock as designed is about 50 million metric tons per year. In 2013, it was approaching the upper limit set by the design. “The limited capacity to pass the ship lock will become a major issue affecting sustainable development of the region along the Yangtze River.” The Three Gorges Project Construction Committee, under the State Council, has been tasked with preparing a proposal for the construction of the second ship lock. 

Source: 21st Century Business Herald reprinted by Xinhua, April 30, 2014.