Ethiopia Awards GERD Electro-Mechanical Work to Chinese Firms

GERD-electro-mechanical-projectJanuary 13, 2019 ( - The Ethiopian government made two separate agreements worth USD 200 million to complete the hydraulic steel structures and electromechanical work that has delayed the completion of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), according to the Ethiopian Reporter.

The Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) awarded Voith Hydro Shanghai Ltd, a chinese firm based in Germany, to supply and install six turbine generators. According to the agreement, the firm will receive USD 77.9 million. Abraham Belay (PhD), CEO of EEP, and Voith deputy, Tang Xu, signed the agreement on Thursday.

The EEP also made another agreement with Power China, another chinese firm, to construct the hydraulic steel structure component of the GERD. For USD 125.6, Power China will finalize the steel structure construction by the end of June, 2020, and will commission the entire project by the end of 2022, according to the report.

Previously, GE Alstom, a US-French joint venture, was awarded a EUR 53.9 million contract to install and commission six turbine units. Two are expected to be finalized before 2020 to help early generation of 750 megawatts. So far, two companies have signed to install 11 turbine generators, each generating 400 megawatts of electricity.

According to the orginal plan, the electro-mechanical work in question was supposed to be done by Metal and Engineering Corporation (MetEC), the military-affiliated engineering complex. However, the Ethiopian government cancelled the contract with MetEC because the latter failed to make much progress, creating substantial delays of the project.

MetEC is now under considerable pressure and investgations for corruption, mismanagement and abuse of power. Its former director general, Major General Kinfe Dagnew, was arrested in November last year brought to the capital, Addis Ababa, in handcuffs. Dozens of former MetEC officials were also arrested later following a wider investigation into corruption within the organization.

According to the Ethiopian government, the steel structure work is only 25 percent of complete, whereas the civil work, which the Italian contractor Salini Impregilo is responsible for, is more than 80 percent.

The GERD is believed to have consumed some 98 billion birr by now. The cost for the remaining 35 percent of the project is yet to be determined.

Originally slated to be completed in 2017 and generate some 6,400 megawatt of electric power, the GERD is now projected to be completed in 2022.



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