Gibe III Hydro Power Project Delayed

The completion of the Gibe III hydropower project scheduled to start production for September 2014 will not be realized as the dam is not ready to harvest water in the coming rainy season. Reliable sources told The Reporter that the Ethiopian Electric Power Service Enterprise board chairman and deputy prime minister Debretsion Gebremichael (Ph.D.) who reportedly is annoyed by the delay, called senior executives of Salini, the contractor and Deng Fang, the Chinese company undertaking the electro-mechanical work for an urgent meeting. According to sources, though the construction of the dam, the electro mechanical work and the power transmission line work are being carried out 24 hours a day, the concrete filling work will not be completed on schedule. Sources said the dam will be ready to harvest water during the rainy season (June-August) adding that the power plant will not be able to generate power the coming September as was stated recently by government officials. Debretsion conferred with executives of Salini and Deng Fang on the possibilities that the plan could be revised there by making the dam ready for the coming rainy season. However, the officials could not arrive to a general consensus.

Energy experts claim that there are different industrial projects awaiting Gibe III to start generating power to start rolling. These experts said the government should look at other projects that could be finalized within a short period of time. Gibe III is one of the three hydropower projects scheduled to be completed during the five year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) implementation period. Gibe III was scheduled to be completed at the beginning of the final year of the GTP, however, now it appears that the completion date should be pushed to the 2015 rainy season. The Gibe III hydropower dam is built in the South Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Regional State bordering the Dawro and Wolaita zones. The dam, being constructed on the Omo River, has an installed generation capacity of 1870 MW. It has a width of 670 meters and a height of 240 meters. The dam is listed among the major concrete dams built in the world. The project includes the construction of two major tunnels and companies drawn from 24 countries are involved in the project. Attempts to reach Debretsion and Aseb Worku (Eng.), CEO of the Ethiopian Electric Service Enterprise, were not successful.

Source : The Reporter

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