The world's largest ship elevator at the Three Gorges Dam opened in Yichang City, central China's Hubei Province, on Sunday, with a prospect to increase the shipping capacity past the dam by six million tons a year.
The elevator, the existing largest lifting structure on a navigation route with the highest technical difficulty of the world, features large engineering scope, high lifting height and large weight lifting operation.
The largest weight to be handled by the elevator is freighter of 3,000 DWT(deadweight ton) and the maximum vertical lifting height is 113 meters.
The main components of the structure are four 169-meter high reinforced concrete towers. The chamber, a self-support orthotropic plate structure that is 120 meters long and 18 meters wide, works as a gigantic basin.
Weighting around 15,500 tons, the elevator carries the ships upwards or downwards to pass the dam.