Addis Ababa (HAN) October 12, 2015 – Public Diplomacy and Regional News. The Gilgel Gibe III hydroelectric power project began power generation on Saturday (October 10). The Dam, highest Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) dam in Africa at 243m, will have a total installed capacity of 1,870mw. This will increase Ethiopia’s power generation capacity by 234% according to Alemayehu Tegenu, Cabinet Affairs Minister, and former Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy. The power will provide an important contribution to Ethiopia’s socio-economic development by feeding the country’s grid as well as facilitating more power to the country’s power-export program and assisting regional integration among neighboring countries through the interconnected power links. MFA
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About Gilgel Gibe III Dam
The Gilgel Gibe III Dam is an under construction 243 m high roller-compacted concrete dam with an associated hydroelectric power plant on the Omo river in Ethiopia. It is located about 92 km (57 mi) northwest of Arba Minch in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region. Once completed it would be the third largest hydroelectric plant in Africa with a power output of about 1870 Megawatt (MW), thus more than doubling total installed capacity in Ethiopia from its 2007 level of 814 MW. The Gibe III dam would be part of the Gibe cascade, a series of dams including the existing Gibe I dam (184 MW) and Gibe II power station (420 MW) as well as the planned Gibe IV (1472 MW) and Gibe V (560 MW) dams. The existing dams are owned and operated by the state-owned Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation, which is also the client for the Gibe III Dam.
As of January 2015, according to Ethiopia Electric Power, the US$1.8 billion project was 88% completed, and the first two generators are expected to be commissioned in June 2015. The remaining generators would be operational by 2016. The project has seen serious delays; in May 2012, full commissioning had been scheduled for June 2013. Local and international environmental groups expect major negative environmental and social impacts of the dam and have criticized the project’s environmental and social impact assessment as insufficient. Because of this and accusations that the entire approval process for the project was suspect,funding for the full construction cost has not yet been secured, as the African Development Bank has delayed a decision about a loan pending a review of the dam’s environmental impact by its compliance review and mediation unit which in August 2009 accepted a call from NGOs for such a review.Wiki
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