Ethiopia’s Gilgel Gibe III Dam, which is the country’s largest hydropower plant has started power generation following a successful trial production which began in August.
Alemayehu Tegenu, former Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, tweeted last week: “Dear all, good news GG III has started power generation this evening,” Fana Broadcasting Corporation reported.
Zemedeneh Negatu, one of Ethiopia’s well respected business executives also tweeted on the great achievement:
Last night Ethiopia became Africa's 2nd largest power producer when the 1,870 MW Gibe III Dam started generation. pic.twitter.com/rV3PUGm2IR
— Zemedeneh Negatu (@Zemedeneh) October 11, 2015
Construction of the $1.8 billion project, owned by Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation started in 2008, but the project experienced funding challenges which delayed its completion.
Despite the challenges, power generation has since started. 500 MW of electricity are currently being generated a month and more turbines are being installed to reach the 1,870 MW capacity.
Gilgel Gibe III, with a height of 246 meters becomes the tallest Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) dam in the world, surpassing China’s 216.2 meters high Longtan Dam.
It is expected to significantly boost Ethiopia’s hydroelectric generation capacity and all ten 187 MW generators are expected to be fully operational early 2016, generating a capacity of 1,870 MW. It will also ease Ethiopia’s chronic power outages and boost a booming economy.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ethiopia is ranked among the five fastest growing economies in the world. The country named amongst the ‘African tigers’ could reach middle income status by 2025 through its various modernisation projects. Power generation is a vital component in this development agenda.
Source: Fana Broadcasting Corporation