ADDIS ABEBA – Genale Dawa III multipurpose hydro dam has been inaugurated on Tuesday as Ethiopia bids to become Africa’s biggest power exporter.
It will generate 254MW power and over 1,600GWH per year, the ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy (MoWIE) said of the project carried out by China Gezhouba Group Company Limited (CGGC) built on Dawa River, Southeast Ethiopia.
“It is an ideal project that brings reliable baseload type energy for Ethiopia energy grid,” Seleshi Bekele, minister of water and energy.
Launched in 2010, the 110m high and 426m long dam cost the nation 451 million US dollars. Its reservoir has the capacity to hold 2.5 billion cubic meters of water.
After inaugurating the dam, Prime Minister Abiy has congratulated all actors involved in the project for the successful completion of the project.
The project is “a proof of our” attitude of not giving up, he said.
Apart from generating power, the dam will be used for irrigation purposes.
Authorities also plan to build Genale Dawa VI hydropower project, which, according to him, will require not less than a billion dollars.
The project attracted many foreign investors, but the government’s interest is to build it in a joint venture with local investors, the Prime Minister said.
The proposed Genale Dawa 6 project will add 246MW to the national grid and help to irrigate up to 25,000ha of land.
Ethiopia’s current power production stands at 4,400MW. Officials say works are underway to generate additional 7,300MW from dams currently under construction including the $4 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and other dams.
The dam is the centerpiece of Ethiopia’s bid to become Africa’s biggest power exporter, with a projected capacity of more than 6,000 megawatts.