Construction of Grand Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia, which commenced in April 2011, is set for completion in July 2017. 50% of the work has already been completed, and 700MW first stage was expected to be operational by this year.
When completed, the Grand Renaissance Dam will help generate 6,000 megawatts for domestic and export. The 170 meter tall dam will prevent flooding by managing up to 19,370 cubic metres per second and reduce alluvium in Sudan by 100 million cubic metres.
The dam construction project will also help in providing water to irrigate 500,000ha of new agricultural lands and serve as a bridge across the Blue Nile, which has few bridges and pedestrian bridges.
Grand Renaissance Dam is being constructed in the Benishangul-Gumuz region of Ethiopia, on the Blue Nile River, about 40km east of Sudan.
The US$ 5bn development is owned by Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCO) and is not only expected to serve Ethiopia but also Sudan and Egypt.
Construction of two outdoor power stations having 3,750MW and 2,250MW in installed capacities will also be undertaken. They will have 16 units each generating 375MW. A 500kV switchyard to ferry power from the stations will also be constructed.
Metals & Engineering Corporation (METEC) has entered into agreement with Alstom to supply turbines, generators and all electromechanical equipment for the Grand Renaissance Dam power plant.
The country, which floated a US$1bn bond to fund construction and energy projects last year December and planned to spend US$ 20bn for power generation between 2015-2020, has also announced it would construct a US$700m dam on Gebba River and was planning to add 40MW to the grid through expansion of Ashegoda wind power plants.