Ethiopia inaugurates Genale Dawa III hydroelectric power plant

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Ethiopia has inaugurated the delayed Genale Dawa III hydroelectric power plant. The project which was built on Dawa River in Southeast Ethiopia, has a total installed generating capacity of 254 MW. The 110 meter high and 426 meter long dam, has a capacity to hold 2.5 billion cubic meters of water.

Built by a Chinese firm – China Gezhouba Group – Genale Dawa III hydroelectric plant has consumed a total investment outlay of US $451m, out of which about US $67.8m was covered by the Government of Ethiopia. The remaining was covered by a loan.

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The Genale-Dawa III project

The project was initially launched in 2010, but was temporarily suspended for more than a year due to certain setbacks related to resettlement of residents living close to the dam. The completion of the project is said to help increase the country’s electric power generation capacity to 4654 MW from the existing 4,200 MW; and help enhance the economic benefits of Genale and Dawa communities through expanding irrigation development.

According to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed expansion of irrigation development will enable to sustain food security. Local investments into power projects. The PM further noted that the nation still needs to invest more on local water resources, and encouraged local investors to involve in all identified projects including GD-6. “More power projects will ensure the country meets its actual power demands,” he asserted.

Over the past three years alone, some foreign companies from Western Countries and Chinese firms have submitted their project proposals to the Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP). Among the foreign companies include: British energy firms, Chinese firms and Turkish construction companies.