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Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Ethiopia – update

Image of Ethiopia map/flag

26th April 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Location
On the Abay river, in the Beneshangul Gumuz region of Ethiopia.

Project Owner/s
Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo).

Project Description
The project envisages a plant with an installed capacity of 6 000 MW that will supply 15 692 GWh/y.

The major components of the project include:
• a 145-m-high, roller-compacted-concrete (RCC) dam with a 1 780-m-long crest;
• a rock-filled saddle dam, 4 800 m long and 45 m high, with a bituminous surface facing;
• two outdoor powerhouses of 3 750 MW and 2 250 MW installed capacity, containing ten and six generating units respectively, each with a capacity of 375 MW; and
• a 500 kV switchyard, which will transmit power from the two powerhouses to the grid.

The main dam and saddle dam will create 74-billion cubic metres of impounding capacity, with a surface area of 1 680 km2 at full capacity.

A gated spillway, equipped with six radial gates and a discharge capacity of 14 700 m3/s at probable maximum flood occurrence, will be located on the left side of the main dam.

A saddle dam on the left side of the RCC dam, with an emergency side spillway, is envisaged to allow for the discharge of floodwater directly into the Roseires reservoir.

The construction of 123 km of access roads, as well as camps, workshops and other civil works, forms part of the activities for the project.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Capital Expenditure
The project is valued at $4.8-billion.

Planned Start/End Date
The project started construction in 2011 and faced many delays. It is expected to be completed in 2023, barring any further delays.

Latest Developments
Construction of the GERD is in its final phases of completion.

At the start of 2024, the construction of the dam had reached a significant milestone. Work on the dam was 94.6% complete.

However, there has been no decided agreement or consensus between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on the dam’s operations. The international community, including the US and the African Union, has urged the parties to find a peaceful resolution. However, as of early 2024, there was no lasting settlement.

Downstream countries are seeking assurances that their water security will not be compromised by the dam’s operation.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
Salini Costruttori, a subsidiary of Salini Impregilo; GE Hydro France; China Gezhouba Group Corp; Voith Hydro Shanghai and China's Sinohydro Corp (construction contract); and Alstom (turbine and generators).

Contact Details for Project Information
EEPCo, tel +251 11 1 55 95 67, fax +251 11 1 57 1860 or email eepcocommunication@yahoo.com.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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