The government has identified seven hydropower projects to be implemented by independent power producers in a public-private partnership (PPP) model. Out of the seven hydropower projects, Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) selected four that require amendments to their previous feasibility studies, while three of them need new feasibility studies.
Expected to generate 2,300MW of electric energy, the projects are located in Amhara, Oromia and Somali regional states and require a total of 4.3 billion dollars in investment.
If there is any Western country eager to help Ethiopia in the power sector, none match the enthusiasm and drive of the Danish government. Denmark, a country with an impressive record of 70pc reduction in its per kWh carbon emissions by switching to clean and renewable energy, is keen to explore alternative energy sources in this country.
A year ago, Denmark agreed to finance the construction of a new wind farm in Assela, 165Km south of the capital, to generate 100MW of power. Last week, a delegation of the Danish Energy Agency was here in Addis Abeba, and this week, Denmark sent a delegation to identify additional areas of cooperation in developing alternative sources of energy, as well as to promote management and skill sets in the field.
The Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) has made two separate agreements worth US $200m with Chinese firms to see through the completion of the delayed Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project. According to the agreement which was signed between Abraham Belay (PhD), CEO of EEP, and Voith deputy, Tang Xu, the company has awarded Voith Hydro Shanghai Ltd, a Chinese firm based in Germany US $77.9m to supply and install six turbine generators for the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project.
The Ethiopian Power company also signed an agreement worth US $125.6m with Power China construct the hydraulic steel structure component of the GERD. The firm will finalize the steel structure construction by the end of June, 2020, and will commission the entire project by the end of 2022.
Launched in 2011 with a plan to be finalized in five years, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) still has four more years to go before completion marking 11 years, if not more. Consuming 98 billion birr against the initial total budget of 80 billion birr; the dam’s 25 percent work is that of hydraulic steel structures and electromechanical works. Hired for this task is the porous Metals and Engineering Corporation (MetEC), which received 65 percent payment. MetEC has been accused of delaying the project and compromising its quality. Out of the 65 percent of the total construction work, the civil engineering component is undertaken by the Italian company, Salini Impreglio, which has finalized 82 percent of its work.
According to Sileshi Bekele (PhD), Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, the complex and most challenging part of the dam project mostly is the hydraulic steel structures and building the electromechanical components severely delaying the course of the construction of the dam. “Needless bravado was devoted,” the minister said while outlining the failures encountered during the undertaking of the project.