This forms the 32nd unit of the world’s largest hydro power project that has an overall capacity of 22.5GW constituting 11% of all hydroelectric power produced in the country.

The dam had already generated a total of 564.8bn kWh of energy, saving nearly 200m tonnes of coal per annum, reported Xinhua state news agency.

China Yangtze Power operates the project and is estimated to have cost more than $50m.

China Yangtze Power general manager Zhang Cheng was quoted by The Guardian, UK as saying, "The complete operation of all the generators makes the Three Gorges dam the world’s largest hydropower project, and the largest base for clean energy."

Construction of the project commenced in 1994 and the first 700MW unit was completed in July 2003.