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(Xinhua, 17 March 2018)

Ethiopia will soon start test generation of the 6,450 MW Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) built on the Blue Nile river, an Ethiopian official said on Saturday, according to Xinhua.

Speaking to Xinhua, Hailu Abraham, Public Relations Head at Office of Ethiopia National Council for the Coordination of Public Participation on the Construction of GERD, said two turbines each with capacity to generate 375 MW have already been installed and are waiting test electricity generation.

He further said Ethiopia is organizing various fund raising and promotional programs to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the start of construction of the dam which is 64 percent complete.

GERD, which will be Africa's largest dam upon completion with a total volume of 74 billion cubic meters, was started in April 2011 with a cost of about 4.7 billion U.S. dollars.

The GERD project, owned and financed by the Ethiopian government, is located some 40 km east of Ethiopia's neighboring country Sudan.

"When complete, more than 50 percent of the dam's generated electricity will be sold to Nile river basin countries and neighboring countries," said Abraham, adding that the Ethiopian government has placed the dam's completion at the center of Ethiopia's economic ambitions.

The Ethiopian government even sees the electricity generated from the dam being sold in the future as far north to Morocco and as far south to Tanzania.

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