Ethiopia’s Gilgel Gibe Power Project To Kick Off In June

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Ethiopia’s Gilgel Gibe dam  project should be up and running by June this year, this is according to Azeb Asnake, CEO Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation.

The project will be carried out along Ethiopia’s Omo River and is worth $1.8 billion. Gilgel Gibe project has began in 2008 and was to be fully functional three years later but it was delayed due to lack of funding as well as environmental issues; but it will be fully functional by next year.
With this project, Ethiopia will have a double production of electricity which will sort out the power shortages as the project will generate 1870MW of power upon completion.
According to the Power company CEO, 88 percent of the work for the Gibe 3 hydropower project is done, two of the ten units would be ready by June and then there will be one additional unit which will be done monthly.
Ethiopia plans to spend a total of $12 billion to tap the rivers that cascade down its craggy highlands over the next two decades in a bid to beat energy shortages and become Africa’s biggest power exporter.

The country’s economy is expanding by 9 percent a year, and the dam is part of an infrastructure plan aimed at sustaining that growth. A bigger project, the 6,000 MW Grand Renaissance Dam, is being developed along the Nile.

Ethiopia already exports power to neighbouring Kenya, Sudan and Djibouti, and it has signed agreements with Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan, as well as Yemen.

Critics of Gilgel Gibe 3 say it will reduce water flow and devastate the fisheries of Lake Turkana, which is fed by the Omo. Ethiopian officials admit criticism led the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank to turn down a request to disburse funds.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China stepped in four years ago with a loan of 500 million dollars to pay for turbines.

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