Gezhouba Dam Ship Lock – Location and Highlights

gezhouba dam ship lock

The Gezhouba Dam Ship Lock (葛洲坝船闸) refers to the gateway for vessels within the Gezhouba Navigation Project, an integral component of China’s first large-scale water conservancy project on the Yangtze River in Yichang, Hubei Province, often hailed as the “Number One Dam on the Yangtze River for Thousands of Miles.” Stretching over 6.4 kilometers, with the lock’s main body covering 1.6 kilometers and the navigation channel extending 4.8 kilometers, the ship lock plays a crucial role in facilitating the passage of ships through the complex water level changes.

Inaugurated in 1981, the Gezhouba Dam Ship Lock initially witnessed a modest annual cargo volume of less than 4 million tons. The maiden voyage featured cargo ship ‘Changjiang’ and passenger ship ‘Dongfanghong,’ representing the pinnacle of shipping at that time. However, due to limited transportation capacity, these vessels have since been retired.

Since its opening in June 1981, the cargo throughput of the Gezhouba Dam Ship Lock has experienced continuous growth. In 1982, the cargo volume passed through the lock was around 3.47 million tons, just below 4 million tons. Subsequently, there was a consistent increase in cargo volume each year. By 1992, the cargo volume surpassed 9 million tons, doubling the figure from 1982, and continued to grow significantly. In 1994, it achieved a milestone by surpassing 10 million tons for the first time.

On December 12, 2011, around 10 a.m., fully-loaded cargo ships, including the ‘Changhang Jiyun,’ sailed into the Gezhouba Dam Ship Lock. This marked a historic moment as, after 30 years of operation, the annual cargo volume through the Gezhouba Dam Ship Lock exceeded 100 million tons for the first time. Over the three decades of its operation, the Gezhouba Dam Ship Lock has safely accommodated nearly 400,000 lockages, facilitated passage for approximately 2.11 million vessels, and handled a cumulative cargo volume exceeding 680 million tons—an astonishing 28-fold increase from the cargo volume in 1981.

As of March 21, 2022, the ship lock on the Three Gorges North Line has undergone 14 reversals, operated for 428 cycles, accommodated 1,672 vessels, and handled an overall cargo volume of 6.58 million tons, demonstrating its continued significance in the transportation network of the Yangtze River. The Gezhouba Dam Ship Lock stands as a testament to China’s commitment to waterway development, economic progress, and the impressive scale of its water conservancy achievements.


Top Activities in Hubei Province


Vlog about Gezhouba Dam Ship Lock


Attractions near Gezhouba Dam

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *