Second turbine is celebrated but it will take two more years before Ethiopia’s GERD dam project is completed based on remarks from the project manager
Ethiopia on Thursday inaugurated power generation from the second turbine of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam – a mega project in the continent that has caused disputes with Egypt and Sudan.
Breaking news coverage from the state media, Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporate (EBC), showed Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed being greeted by Engineer Kifle Horo – the project manager.
Apart from celebrating the second power generation, the event was organized to evaluate the progress of the project.
The manager disclosed that the overall project completion has reached 83.3 percent. The Civil engineering part of the project is 95 percent completed, and mechanical only 61 percent completed and the metal work is 73 percent – according to Kifle Horo.
The middle part of the dam has reached 100 meters above the ground. It is said that it was only 25 meters when the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) lost central government power in 2018.
At this point two turbines have started generating power and the third filling of the dam is underway. Kifle Horo did not say it was completed.
President Sahle Work Zewde, Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen, the Minister for Defense Abraham Belay and Deputy Chief of the Ethiopian Defense Force Abebaw Tadesse attended the ceremony which was organized on the block where the second turbine is installed.
The reservoir was expected to have about 18 billion cubic meters of water when the third filling is completed. However, there are indications that the dam retained more water this year as the Ethiopian rain this year is heavier. The third filling is apparently completed too.
Sheleshi Bekele, former minister for irrigation, energy and water resources who is now serving as Ethiopia’s Ambassador to the United States, said “…Today marks the inauguration of the second turbine with capacity of 375MW.The GERD level lower block has reached 600m to store total volume of ~22BCM over three years filling period…”
For Engineer Seleshi Bekele, “The filling has passed unnoticed, without causing any harm to downstream but immense benefit to protection against flood. Those protected against extreme events of flood with Ethiopia’s investment should also be happy!!”
The third filling does not seem to have affected the water level reaching lower riparian countries. There have been reports of flooding in Sudan from the Nile river.
“Those protected against extreme events of flood with Ethiopia’s investment should also be happy…” Engineer Seleshi remarked in his social media update.
The inauguration of the second turbine has created a festive mood among a considerable number of Ethiopians – based on trends on social media updates.
Egypt has been sabotaging the project not only by initiating a political battle at the level of the UN security council, among other platforms but also by financing proxy wars in Ethiopia.
The latest attempt to attack Ethiopia came from the renowned terrorist group Al-Shabab whose 800 forces were killed in the Somali region in South Eastern Ethiopia, according to Ethiopian government.
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