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Ethiopia plans major electricity export project

Posted on Wednesday, 29 June 2011 15:16

Ethiopia is planning to construct four dams on the Nile River as its plan to export electricity to its neighbours, The Africa Report learnt on Wednesday.

Ethiopian experts told journalists that a feasibility study has been carried out to pave the way for the construction of the dams over the Nile River.

The journalists who were invited were taken to one of the dam sites which is, expected to have a power generating capacity of 5,250 megawatts (MW) when complete.

They were also taken to three other dams by government officials spearheading the projects.

Engineer Simegenew Bekele, project manager of the Nile River dam project, also known as the Great Ethiopian renaissance Dam said studies had revealed that the four dams could produce up to 11,000 MW of electricity.

The Great Renaissance Dam, over the Nile River is expected to start generating power within two years. Work on the four dams is scheduled to begin in 2015 after the completion of the €3.3 billion Great Renaissance Dam.

The dam is located more than 800 km from Addis Ababa in the Benishangul Gumze region.

Salini, an Italian company has been given the contract to construct the dam.

“As you can see work is on progress with no geological and geographical challenges, everything is on going as scheduled,” Bekele said.

“Work is also underway to divert the water for the construction of the Renaissance Dam.”

Ethiopia has agreements to supply Djibouti, Kenya and Sudan with electricity. Supplies to Sudan will start in July.

Ethiopia has begun exporting power to the former. Power supply to Sudan is expected to commence in July, 2011.

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