The third 700MW Francis unit of the right bank of the Three Gorges project in China has commenced operations, and the plant now has 17 units in operation.

Upon successfully completing 72 hours of tests on 20 August, the unit – named No 21, and manufactured by alstom – started operations. Alstom began installation work on the unit 10 months earlier, said the client China Yangtze Power Co. It added that the unit was online three months ahead of plan.

The previous two 700MW units on the right bank of the Three Gorges project commenced operations in June and July, respectively, and are named units No 22 and No 26. Installation and commissioning work on the right bank units started in May.

With three turbine-generators commissioned on the right bank there will be a further nine brought online over the coming months, bringing the total to 12 units on the right bank.

Combined with the 14 units already installed on the left bank, at present there are 17 units commissioned on the project, the first unit having gone into operation in 2003.