Broker to oversee contruction of world's largest hydro-power project

Willis has won a two-year contract as the insurance consultant for the operational assets of the largest hydropower project in the world, the Three Gorges Project, China.

The dam is the world's largest concrete structure and will be fully operational by 2011.

Located in Sandouping, Hubei province, the Three Gorges hydroelectric power project spans the third longest river in the world, the Yangtze, and will generate enough electricity (84.7 billion Kwh/yr) to power a city four times the size of Los Angeles.

The damn contains 28 million tons of concrete and 32 million tons of rock and earth fill. It incorporates 32 700MW turbines and five-step ship locks that can lift 10,000 ton ocean-going vessels the 113m (371 ft.) necessary to pass upstream. This will allow ships to travel 600km inland to Chongqing, a region rich in manufactured and agricultural goods.

Joe Plumeri, Chairman and CEO of Willis, who visited the dam site last summer said: “We are proud to be associated with one of the greatest engineering feats of the twenty-first century and are passionate about providing world-class service to Chinese ventures. It is hoped that the Three Gorges project will generate inexpensive electricity and easy river access to the interior, opening the region up to more international investment.”

Willis has 20 offices in China. It was recently ranked as the top broker in the country by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission.