ADDIS ABABA – The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has officially started power production.
One of the dam’s turbines begins generating 375 megawatt electricity on Sunday following weeks of test trials.
“Today, Africa’s largest power plant, the GERD’s first turbine began generating power,” Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared.
“This is a good news for our continent as well as the downstream countries with whom we aspire to work together,” the Prime Minister continued.
“As Ethiopia marks the birth of a new era, I congratulate all Ethiopians!,” he said.
The GERD project, which has been under construction in Benishangul-Gumuz region since 2011, will have 13 turbines with a total power generation capacity of 5150MW.
It is currently more than 84 percent complete
Prime Minister Abiy says the dam is vital for its development as it could bring power to 60% of the population.
“It also will be, when fully operational, the largest hydro-electric plant in Africa, and projected to provide power to 65 million Ethiopians, who currently lack a regular electricity supply,” said the PM.
The entire project cost of close to 5 billion USD is covered by Ethiopians with no loans from any external sources.