Xiluodu Dam

The Xiluodu Dam (simplified Chinese: 溪洛渡大坝; traditional Chinese: 溪洛渡大壩; pinyin: Xīluòdù Dàbà) is an arch dam on the Jinsha River, i.e. the upper course of the Yangtze in China. It is located near the town of Xiluodu in Yongshan County of Yunnan Province but the dam straddles into Leibo County of Sichuan Province on the opposite side of the river. The primary purpose of the dam is hydroelectric power generation and its power station has an installed capacity of 13,860 MW. Additionally, the dam provides for flood control, silt control and its regulated water releases are intended to improve navigation downstream. Construction on the dam and power station began in 2005 and the first generator was commissioned in 2013, the last in 2014. It is operated by China Yangtze Power and is currently the third-largest power station with the fourth-tallest dam in the world.[3][4]

Xiluodu Dam
Xiluodu Dam is located in China
Xiluodu Dam
Location of Xiluodu Dam in China
Official name溪洛渡大坝
LocationXiluodu Town, Yongshan County, Yunnan/Leibo County Sichuan, China
Coordinates28°15′35.46″N 103°38′58.20″E / 28.2598500°N 103.6495000°E / 28.2598500; 103.6495000Coordinates: 28°15′35.46″N 103°38′58.20″E / 28.2598500°N 103.6495000°E / 28.2598500; 103.6495000
Construction beganDecember 2005
Opening dateJuly 2013
Construction costUS$6.2 billion
Dam and spillways
Type of damDouble-curvature arch, concrete
ImpoundsJinsha River
Height285.5 m (937 ft)[1][2]
Length700 m (2,300 ft)
Elevation at crest610 m (2,000 ft)
Spillway type7 × crest floodgates, 7 × orifices, 4 × tunnels
Spillway capacity32,278 m3/s (1,139,900 cu ft/s)
CreatesXiluodu Reservoir
Total capacity12,670,000,000 cubic metres (10,270,000 acre⋅ft)
Active capacity6,460,000,000 cubic metres (5,240,000 acre⋅ft)
Catchment area454,400 km2 (175,400 sq mi)
Normal elevation600 m (2,000 ft)
Xiluodu Hydropower Station
Operator(s)China Yangtze Power
Commission date2013–2014
Turbines18 × 770 MW Francis-type
Installed capacity13,860 MW
Annual generation55.2 TWh (2015)


The Xiluodu Dam is located on the Jinsha (Upper Yangtze) River as it exits the mountainous region of the Hengduan Mountains and Yungui Plateau and enters the Sichuan Basin. This part of the Jinsha flows between the Daliang Mountains in Sichuan on the left (northwest) bank, and the Wulian Feng in Yunnan on the right (southeast) bank. The Jinsha falls to an elevation of 400 m (1,300 ft) above sea level here while mountains rise more than 2,000 m (6,600 ft) above the Jinsha on either side.[5]


Preliminary construction (roads, bridges, tunnels) for the dam began in 2003 and work on main structures officially commenced on 26 December 2005. In November 2007, the Jinsha was successfully diverted around the construction site, allowing the dam to be built. Concrete pouring began in 2008.[6] The reservoir was impounded in May 2013 and the first of 18×770 MW Francis turbine-generators was commissioned on 15 July 2013.[7] The fourteenth generator was commissioned in April 2014.[8] The eighteenth and final generator was commissioned on 30 June 2014.[3]


The Xiluodu is a 285.5 m (937 ft) tall and 700 m (2,300 ft) long double-curvature arch dam. It is the third tallest arch dam in the world and a key component of the Jinsha River Project. It withholds a reservoir of 12,670,000,000 cubic metres (10,270,000 acre⋅ft) of which 6,460,000,000 cubic metres (5,240,000 acre⋅ft) is considered active storage for power generation. The dam contains several spillways to include seven surface outlets, eight mid-level orifices and four spillway tunnels. All spillways afford a maximum discharge of 32,278 m3/s (1,139,900 cu ft/s).[9] The dam's power station is split into two underground power stations, one located behind the right abutment, the second behind the left abutment. Each power station contains nine 770 MW Francis turbine-generators for a total installed capacity of 13,860 MW.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Xiluodu Dam, Jinsha River, China". Water Technology. Archived from the original on 12 April 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  2. ^ "Xiluodu Hydropower Station to Benefit Hunan with its Digitized Operation". Hunan Provincial People's Government. 6 May 2013. Archived from the original on August 10, 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  3. ^ a b "China's second-largest hydropower station in full operation". Xinhua. 1 July 2014. Archived from the original on 7 July 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  4. ^ "Hydroelectric Power Plants in China - Yunnan". Indust Cards. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  5. ^ Atlas of China. Beijing, China: SinoMaps Press. 2006. ISBN 9787503141782.
  6. ^ "Xiluodu Dam, Jinsha River, China". Water Technology. Archived from the original on 4 August 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  7. ^ "Xiluodu Hydropower first unit formal grid" (in Chinese). Polaris News. 15 July 2013. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  8. ^ "03 April 2014 - China Three Gorges starts 14th unit at 13.9 GW Xiluodu dam (China)". EnerData. 3 April 2014. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  9. ^ Lu Youmei (11 January 2012). "Key technologies for the construction of the Xiluodu high arch dam on the Jinsha River in the development of hydropower in western China". China Three Gorges Corporation. Archived from the original on 28 July 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Xiluodu" (PDF). Chinese National Committee on Large Dams. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2011.

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