Ethiopia’s mega dam project show remarkable progress: gov’t

Two turbines of the mega dam could start generating hydroelectric power as early as next year, according to a report by state media, Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC).

Mega Dam _ Ethiopia
Renaissance Dam project. (EBC photo)

September 25, 2019

Ethiopia’s Water, Irrigation and Energy Minister, Seleshi Bekele, has paid a visit to the project site of the Mega dam – a project for  Egypt is asking for international intervention after a disagreement with Ethiopia in the latest round of talks that took place in Cairo.

EBC cited the minister as saying that the project has shown remarkable progress after projects that were under Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC), a state conglomerate run by the Defense force, were contracted out to five international contractors.

Salini Impregilo, a giant Italian construction company that has been in Ethiopia for over fifty years, has resumed the civil construction aspect of the project which was stopped earlier due to delayed electro-mechanical work which was under METEC’s plate at the past.

Over 96 percent of Saddle dam construction in the left and right side of the mega-dam is completed, and contractors are currently working on finishing work, according to EBC report.

The height of the main dam itself has reached at 145 meters and concrete filling word in the middle part of the dam is underway. So far 8 million metric cube concrete is filled. The entire concrete filling work of the project is said to be about 1.2 million metric cubes.

Two power generating units that are expected to generate power sometime in December 2021 will generate about 750 MW of power.  When completed, the entire power generating units of the dam will generate over 6000 MW electric power a part of which is intended to be exported to Sudan, one of the lower riparian countries of the Nile River.

Ethiopia anticipates completion of the project in three years time.

Water, irrigation, and water minister reportedly said that Egypt’s recent position on the filling and release of the water is unclear.

Ethiopia has repeatedly made clear its commitment that filling the dam and releasing the water from the dam will be in a way that will not impact the lower riparian countries negatively. 

The tripartite talk between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan is due to continue in Khartoum at the end of this month. Ethiopia and Sudan will present their position on Egyptian proposal which said, among other things, that Egypt will have its own engineers in the dam project.

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