Ethiopia: Tekeze begins power generation today
Addis Ababa, November 14, 2009 -- The Tekeze hydro-electric generation station, which has the capacity to generate 300 MW electric power and was constructed at a cost of 3.9 billion birr, will be inaugurated today in the presence of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, high ranking government officials and invited guests.
The project took seven year to complete and was entirely funded by the Ethiopian government through loans secured from banks.
The project, which was delayed for one-and-half-year due to land slide and shortage of funds, will have an annual generation capacity of 981 GGW/h.
In February, the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) said that it has completed the construction of the highest concrete arch dam in the continent on the Tekeze River.
Located in the northern part of Tigray Regional State, the 188-meter Tekeze arch dam is part of government’s multi-billion birr hydropower projects. The dam, which is 75 km long and 3.5 km wide, has the capacity to store 9.3 billion cubic meter of water.
The main civil work of the dam and power house was built by EEPCo and the Chinese Company CWGS as well as three other Chinese companies. The electromechanical work was done by another Chinese company.
Around one hundred persons lost their lives during the construction of the station, of which three were Chinese nationals.
The project includes the construction of the arch dam, two river diversion tunnels, power waterways, an underground powerhouse containing four 75 MW turbines, a 230 KV substation, and a 105-km transmission line to connect the project to the national grid at Mekelle town.
In a trial generation which began on September, the power station has started to generate 75 MW electric power using one of its four turbines.
The construction of the power project was officially launched in August 2002 by President Girma Woldegiorgis. An eight-year study was conducted to launch the project, which was part of the 25-year master plan designed to develop the Tekeze Basin.
The project brings the country’s total generating capacity to 1,170 MW.
The government plans to meet future electricity demand with the construction of several mega-dams within the next ten years, hoping to put three, including the Tekeze hydropower project, online by 2010.