Chinese firms to construct the new US$ 700m Gebba River Dam, Ethiopia

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)
Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD): The Gebba River Dam will be bigger than the GERD, which is still under construction

The Ethiopian Government has awarded a contract for the construction of a new Gebba River Dam. The cost of the contract is US$700m. It will be built along Gebba River, near the border of Jimma and Illubabur zones of the Oromia Regional State.

The contract for the new Gebba River Dam was awarded through the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo), which is mandated to producing, transmitting, distributing and selling electrical energy in accordance with economic and social development policies and priorities of the Ethiopian government.

The contract for the project was awarded to SINOHydro and CGCC and Sur Construction.

The finances for the project will be made available through loans from the Chinese government, through China’s Exim Bank.

The new Gebba River Dam will be the most costly ever built in Ethiopia in terms of cost/megawatt, once complete. According to sources, it will be more costly/mw by about twice the amount spent on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which is currently the largest dam in Africa. It is projected to produce 391MW of electricity.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project is located 500km North West of Addis Abeba on the Blue Nile. Hydropower accounts for the bulk of Ethiopia’s electric power generating capacity and output. Presently, the country has 12 dams some have been constructed while others like the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the Gebba River dam are in the pipeline.

The projects being put up by Ethiopia in the recent years is an indication of the country’s resilience and strive to emerge as an economic hub in the region despite the challenges faced in the past.

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