Ethiopian Dam could start generating power as early as next year

Two turbines to generate power from Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam starting next year.

Ethiopian Dam _ power generation
Seleshi Bekele, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, (MWIE)

July 22, 2020

Ethiopian government disclosed on Tuesday that the first phase filling the dam has been successfully completed following two weeks of heavy rain in the country.

The amount of water retained in the reservoir, which is 4.9 billion cubic meters, is capable of generating electric power as early as next year. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, President Sahlework Zewde and Gedu Andargachew conveyed a message congratulating Ethiopians for the milestone achievement while pointing out the remaining works to complete the dam.

Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Seleshi Bekele said on Wednesday that the current water level could run two turbines starting next year, as reported by state media – Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC).

The first phase of filling the dam was completed on July 22 around 10 p.m. local time, according to the Minister.  That was achieved without interrupting the flow of water to downstream countries, he added.

Project completion is now over 73 percent and the height has reached 560 meters.

The Minister also said that the construction will continue as the dam generates electricity with the two turbines.

During the second phase of filling, Ethiopia aims to retain 13.5 billion cubic meters of water. The total water holding capacity of the dam is 74 billion cubic meters of water.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan have agreed to continue negotiation on the filling of the dam. It was in the African Union-led negotiation on Tuesday chaired by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa that the three parties agreed to continue the negotiation.  

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