By Staff Reporter
September 6, 2018 - Over eight billion birr has been embezzled from the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project by Ethiopian Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC), a senior Ethiopian official has confirmed.
Speaking to the Media, CEO of the Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) Dr. Abrham Belay said METEC has received over 16 billion birr payment, as opposed to eight billion birr it was supposed to have received for less than 30 percent job it has done on the GERD project.
Since the launch of the project in 2011, METEC has been undertaking the electro-mechanical work of the GERD, including manufacture and installation of turbines, hydro steel structures, switch yard and transformer and monitoring units, as well as commissioning to assure that all systems of the plant are designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained according to the requirements set by EEP.
Dr. Abrham Belay said METEC has received 16.79 billion Birr in payments out of the agreed 25.58 billion Birr for the less than 30 percent job performed.
According to the newly appointed CEO of EEP, the 16.79 billion Birr should have been paid when more than 65 percent electro-mechanical job has been completed.
Abrham said METEC had received more than 8 billion Birr in payments for electro-mechanical work that has not been performed.
The embezzlement at the site was further exposed when the civil contractor for the dam, Salini Impregilo, demanded compensation for the cost it had incurred due to delays in the electro-mechanical works by METEC. Salini Impregilo has reportedly demanded 338 million Euros and an additional 119 million dollars.
Salini Impregilo of Italy, the project’s major contractor has finished about 75 percent of the civil works of the GERD and received 82 percent out of the agreed 3,335,170,221.00 Euro from EEP.
The payment has seen an 80 million Birr increase, six percent higher compared to the actual payment for the work done to date.
“The extra 80 million Birr payment was effected to Salini Impregilo as fine against the EEP for delayed payments.” the CEO confirmed
Early generation must have been started two years ago, Dr. Ferehiwot Woldehana, State Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity of Ethiopia said, adding “but seven years after the project began, METEC has not completed a single key project at the site of the dam.”
The GERD project is located approximately 500 km north west of the capital Addis Ababa, in the region of Benishangul-Gumaz along the Blue Nile river.
At the end of the works, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will be the largest dam in Africa: 1,800 m long, 155 m high and with a total volume of 74,000 million m³ and installed power generation capacity of 6,450-MW.