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Ethiopia Inaugurated Genale Dawa Dam III project

Chinese Bank Funded Genale Dawa Dam III, in South Western Ethiopia, to add over 200 MW of power to the existing one.

Genale Dawa Dam _ Ethiopia
Genale Dama Dam. Credit : Seleshi Bekele, Minister for Water, Irrigation and Energy.

February 4, 2020

Ethiopia inaugurated the Genale-Dawa Dam project on Tuesday. The 110 meters high dam has got three turbines that will generate, together, 254 MWs of power. It is about 456meters wide and can hold 2.57 billion cubic meters of water.

Apart from generating electric power, the project is intended for irrigation in for the areas adjacent to it.

It is constructed along the Genale Dawa river basin in Bale, South Eastern parts of Ethiopia.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and his Water, Irrigation, and Energy Minister, Seleshi Bekele, and Oromo regional state acting President Shimeles Abdissa attended the ceremony.

Dawa Genale Dam _
Near Dawa Genale Dam project site. Photo credit : Office of the Prime Minister

Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) cited Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as saying: “The newly inaugurated Genale-Dawa III hydropower project will help to enhance the economic benefits of Genale and Dawa communities through expanding irrigation development.”

The project took nine years – longer than the projected completion date. Ethiopian government spent over $451 million, and the large chunk of it was acquired through a loan arrangement with the Chinese Bank.

Over 55 percent of Ethiopia’s 110 million people do not have electricity coverage. Currently, the overall electric power being generated in the country is about 4400 MW – according to Seleshi Bekele. The goal is to create an additional 7300 MW of power – including from the Grand Renaissance Dam, which is expected to generate some power by next year.

In the Genale Dawa River basin region, Ethiopia has a plan to construct a 1 billion dollars worth dam project; it is called Genale Dawa project VI.

According to the state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) report on Tuesday, several expatriates and local investors have shown interest in the project.

PM Abiy Ahmed has called on public-private partnerships and invited Ethiopian businessmen to involve themselves in the project.

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