Completing Grand Renaissance Dam Key Priority - PM Abiy Ahmed

GERD-completion-priorityMarch 30, 2019 ( -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed emphasized that finalizing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is a key priority of his government.

The Prime Minister made this remark following a meeting with GERD Project Manager, Kifle Horo, who briefed him about the current status of the dam, according to ENA report.

The meeting was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen and other officials.

The GERD manager disclosed that the GERD is 66% complete at this point. The progess of the various projects within the GERD was also discosed: GERD civil work is 83% complete, electromechanical work 25%, and steel work 13%.

It is to be recalled that the state-owned METEC was responsible for the electromechanical part according to the original plan, for which the company wa heavily criticized and its contract cancelled after it failed to make much progress.

According to the briefing, Ethiopia has so far spent up to 98.7 billion birr on the GERD. This is much higher than originally estimated, and it is primarily due to project delays, according to the report.

 Also discussed were the status of trilateral negotiations, review of Nile Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) and GERD filling, according to the report.

Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed emphasized that finalizing the dam is a key priority of his government and that the dam must be finished according to the timeline established.

In January 2019, the electromechanical part of the project was awarded to two chinese firms, Power, China and Voith Hydro Shanghai Ltd, a chinese firm based in Germany. The Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) awarded Voith Hydro Shanghai Ltd to supply and install six turbine generators at a cost of USD 77.9 million.

The EEP also made another agreement with Power China 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 plan disclosed in January 2019.

In February 2019, the Ethiopian government signed up a contract with a Chinese company, China Gezhouba Group Co. Ltd (CGGC), to execute the pre-commissioning activities of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) at a cost of 40.1 million US dollars. This was meant to help achieve the completion goal.

Water, Irrigation, and Energy Minister, Dr Engineer Seleshi Bekele recently told the Ethiopian parliament that the 6,450-MW dam will start energy production by 2020. It is unknown how that goal will be realized given that the best estimate given earlier in the year was the end of 2022.



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