By Staff Reporter
October 17, 2019 (Ezega.com) – The power generation capacity of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has been slashed to 5150MW, a senior Ethiopian official has disclosed, reversing an earlier statement made to the contrary.
The dam, that has been under construction since 2011, had been planned to have an installed generating capacity of 5,250 MW. However, due to the upgrading made on the power plant in the following years, its generation capacity was uplifted to 6,000 MW and again upgraded to 6450 in February 2017.
Briefing cabinet members on Thursday October 17, 2019, on the progress and contentious issue involving the GERD project, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy Dr. Sileshi Bekele said the dam has been made to generate 5150MW by decreasing the number of turbines to be installed at project site.
The minster’s report contradicts with CEO of the GERD Kifle Horu who recently said, “the number of turbines that will be installed at GERD project will be downsized from 16 to 13 and that would not affect the dam’s projected generating capacity.”
Sileshi said the decrease in the number turbines and generation capacity of the GERD are of technical matters and has had nothing to do with Egypt’s proposal to decrease the height of the dam and extend the filling period of the dam’s reservoir.
Last week, the project office of the GERD proposed to slash the installed capacity of the dam to 5,150MW, by decreasing the number of turbines to be installed for power generation.
Initially, the Dam was planned to have 16 turbine units, but the office proposed slashing three units in a bid to reduce the unit cost of the Dam, the minster was quoted as saying.
“After a thorough study and all options have been assessed, it was found to be necessary to downsize the number of turbines to thirteen and that would be economical and won’t affect the total production capacity of the GERD,” the CEO was quoted as saying by local media at the time.
While making the statement, Sileshi said the decrease in the number of turbines will not change the head of the Dam and the average water discharge. The maximum dam head is 145m, while the design head is 123m. The water that will be impounded in the reservoirs will be 74 billion cubic meters.
Notwithstanding the latest clarifications, the issue of slashing GERD’s generating capacity remains vague to the general public and many people have associated the matter to Egypt’s pressure.
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