Main construction complete on giant Artax Dam

The main part of Artax dam, the biggest water-control project in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, was completed on May 29, construction authorities announced on Tuesday.

The project, which was launched in 2015, is located on the border of Yarkan county, Kashgar prefecture, and Aktaw county, Kezilesu Kirgiz autonomous prefecture.

The government invested 11 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) in the project.

Construction authorities said that once the dam is completed, functions such as flood control, irrigation and ecological protection will be brought into play in the lower reaches of the Yarkant River in mountainous areas.

The project was a response to the need for flood control, water impoundment and electrical generation. Work was halted by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, but after the regional government approved a resumption at the end of March, more than 3,000 engineers and workers returned to their jobs.

With the completion of the main part of the dam, the structure can control floods, and the Yarkant bid farewell to the inundations that have had an adverse impact on the environment around the river.

Construction of the dam's water impoundment reservoir will be a new focus, and the first generating equipment is expected to begin providing power by the end of August.