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Blue Nile makes way for GERD construction

The diversion of the course of Abay (Blue Nile) River was successfully undertaken on Tuesday to make way for the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Speaking at the a ceremony held at the Guba, site of the GERD in Benishangul Gumuz State, President of the GERD Construction Public Coordination Council and Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnin said the diversion of the River has been successfully done to utilize the resource for national interest.

The benefit of the GERD which is the fruit of the May 28 Victory is not only for the nation but also for neigbouring countries, he said. He also called up on the public to continue the support it has extended to the construction of the Dam since inception till the end.

Demeke said the government would remain focused to realize the vision of the late Great leader Meles Zenawi and martyrs, thereby promoting the Ethiopian Renaissance.

Water and Energy Minister Alemayehu Tegenu for his part said the construction of the Dam is being carried out in such a way that it maintains the mutual benefit of the Nile basin countries. He said it would also enhance cooperation and economic integration and would not do any damage to the lower riparian countries.

Chief Executive Officer of the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation Mihret Debebe said energy projects like the GERD are very essential in developing countries like Ethiopia to deal with the growing energy demand. He noted that the government has embarked up on generating up to 8,000 MW energy at the end of the Growth and Transformation Plan period.

The GERD construction for which a corner stone was laid by late Meles Zenawi two years ago has now reached 21 percent of its construction accomplishment.

The Dam which will have an installed capacity of 6,000 MW at its completion has created job opportunity for over 5,000 citizens. The Dam will have a storage capacity of 74 billion cubic meters of water.

Source -, May 28, 2013

Ethio-Kenya Electricity Highway Project Launches

The Ethio-Kenya Electricity Highway Project workshop, which is the first phase of the east African Power Integration Regional program, was officially launched in a ceremony held at Hilton Hotel here in Addis Ababa on May 14,2013.

Mr. AlemaYehu Tegenu, Minister of Water and Energy launching the program stated that the project is an important move towards the development of the regional power pool. In due course of time also, Miheret Debebe, CEO of the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCO) pointed out that construction of the 500KV transmission line links the national grids of the two countries. He went on to say that the program would alleviate the bottleneck problem for the exchange of electric power between the two countries.

High-ranking officials from Ethiopia and Kenya, representatives of the World Bank and African Development Bank (AFDB) attended the ceremony.

Mr. Lamin Barrow, representative of AFDP, emphasizing the importance of the project as the backbone of the East African Regional transmission network, declared the commitment of the bank to support the interconnection progam. Likewise, Mr. Guang Z.Chen, representative of the World Bank, expressed the bank’s readiness to provide the necessary support for the successful implementation of the project.

The project feasibility study completed in 2009 and more than 212 million people will be benefited. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2016 at a total cost of 1.3 billion USD. African Development Bank (ADP) and World Bank (WB) approved the loan.

Gibe III over 69 per cent complete

The Gibe III hydroelectric project, with has 1,870 MW installed power generation capacity, could start generating power next year.

The dam, situated along the lower course of the Omo River, some 155 km downstream Gilgel Gibe II Powerhouse , is currently 69.4 per cent complete.

Gibe III Project Manager Azeb Asnake said:“We will undertake dry commissioning [testing without using water] of the dam this year .We expects the dam to start generating power next year when the water reaches a certain level to generate power.]”

Preparatory works such as research design as well as the construction of over 150 kms access roads and river diversion by digging three tunnels has been carried out. Main activities of the dam have commenced and it has now reached 52 meters high.

When it goes operational, Gibe III with a height of 246 meters will be the tallest Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) dam in the world.RCC is known to be a cost-and time - efficient construction method of concrete dams. Gibe III is the first RCC dam in Ethiopia.

Source - The Ethiopian Herald, March 23, 2013

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