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 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.