The Chinese dam
The Ertan Dam:The starter for the hydroelectric boom
Half of the world’s dams are located in China, which alone has more than 22,000 of them.
The Ertan Dam, located at an altitude of 1,200 metres on the Yalong River, near the city of Panzhihua, was the first to be co-financed by the World Bank. The call for tenders for the choice of the constructor consortium, to which Webuild was a member, was also international.
Operating since 1999, it is still one of the country’s largest hydroelectric infrastructures. 240 metres high and 775 metres long at the crest, it is an arched dam in reinforced concrete with double curvature. The basin is entirely covered with concrete slabs, anchored in the rock. To facilitate its construction, a mixed method was used to interrupt the river’s flow, involving falling stones from a bridge, and building a transverse dam.
Today, it ranks as the world’s 18th highest dam.