Harza Engineering Company of the US has been hired to supervise the construction of the Three Gorges project on the middle reaches of the Yangtze river, in China. Previously, five supervisors were hired from Atkinson Construction Company of the US, by the China Yangtze River Three Gorges Project Development Corporation (TGPDC) to provide concrete quality control at the project.

The 175m high Three Gorges dam will power the world’s largest hydro power station with an installed capacity of 18,200MW, when completed in 2009. The construction work includes pouring 27M m3 of concrete to form the dam and its ship locks. The project will also use 354,000t of rebar and another 281,000t of metal.

In the meantime, TGPDC has also signed a contract with an alliance formed by the National Power Company of France and the French Technical Supervision Bureau under which it will hire staff to supervise the manufacture of the project’s first 14 generators in Canada and Brazil. The completed project will have 26x700MW generators.

According to the current plan, whenever major problems occur, reports from the international supervisors and quality control inspectors will be submitted directly to the Three Gorges Project Committee of the State Council, which is currently headed by Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji.

The hiring of international consultants to supervise the project was advocated by Rongji, to stem allegations of shoddy workmanship and poor quality control by locals, who many fear could be bribed by the contractors.