Plans to construct 2000MW hydro dam in Ethiopia underway

Plans to construct 2, 000MW hydro dam in Ethiopia, on the lower bank of the Omo River are underway. An Italian export credit agency, Servizi Assicuative del Commerce Estero (SACE) has agreed to fund the development.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn confirmed the great news and said that the deal for the construction of the dam which is dubbed Koysha dam came after successful negotiations between Ethiopia’s Electric Power (EEP) and Italian construction firm Salini Costruttori.

“The deal was sealed after a successful negotiation between Ethiopia’s Electric Power (EEP) and Italian construction firm Salini Costruttori,” said the Prime Minister.

The mega development of the dam is projected to cost a whopping US$ 1.7bn and will be funded by the Italian company, SACE.

An Ethiopian delegation which was led by the CEO of EEP Azeb Asnake, and the head of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation’s Legal Affairs Directorate Wasihun Abate, flew to Rome to seal the financing agreement.

This is a very good initiative since it will help in Ethiopia’s vision of becoming the centre for the renewable energy in Africa.

The country is currently constructing the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) which is projected to be the largest dam in Africa. It is being built on the Blue Nile and already over 50 percent complete. They have also made the 1,800 capacity Gibe III dam operational.

Under its five-year development plan, Ethiopia has made it a priority to increase their energy supply and is currently looking to utilize its rivers for power generation. They also recently signed a US$ 4bn deal for the construction of a 1,000MW geothermal facility with a US-Icelandic firm Reykjavik Geothermal. It will be Ethiopia’s first privately-run power plant.

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