December 13, 2018 (Ezega.com) - The Project Manager of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) said the dam is now scheduled to be completed in 2022.
According to the Project Manager of the dam, Eng. Kifle Horo, the dam was originally scheduled to be completed in 2017.
The project manager made the remark during a meeting held in Addis Ababa on the progress of the GERD.
But, because of delays, especially the electro-mechanical part of the work, the completion date is being pushed out to 2022. Changes in design to higher generation capacity also contributed to the delay, it is learnt.
The GERD is a highly ambitious project for a poor country like Ethiopia. It is also a source of national pride for Ethiopia, one that gave notice to the world that Ethiopia has finally emerged from years of misery and darkness. It is also one that has generated considerable regional tensions, especially with Egypt, over fears that the water flow will be affected.
The military-affiliated Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC) was heavily criticized for the delay it caused to the project and was later fired from the project in August 2018.
METEC has also been blamed for over eight billion birr that was reportedly embezzled from the project, according to senior Ethiopian officials.
Speaking to the Media in September this year, 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.
Kifle Horo was appointed project manager of GERD after the former project manage, Simegnew Bekele committed suicide for still unknown reasons.
The GERD is being built in Benishangul-Gumuz Regional state of Ethiopia, about 15 km east of the Sudanese border.
So far, Ethiopia has reportedly spent about 98 billion Birr on the project, financed fully from local sources.
The dam is expected to generate 6.45 gigawatts, the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa.