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Ethiopia to Build New Hydropower Plant on Geba River

Ethiopia concluded a hydro power plant construction agreement with three companies for the construction of a plant that is going to be built in Oromia State, out of which one is a local firm.

The companies that contracted for the construction are Sur Construction, Sinohydro Corporation and CGGC. These three companies have been working in joint ventures since 2002 E.C. and have constructed the Tekeze power plant.

The hydraulic model test, on the other hand, is going to be carried out by Arba Minch University.

The dam for the new hydro power plant is going to be built on the Geba River at an out lay of U.S. $ 583 Million and when going operational it is going to produce 391 Megawatt power. It is estimated that the construction is going to take four and half years.

According to Alemayehu Tegenu, Minister for Water, Irrigation and Energy, out of the total cost 80 percent of it is going to be covered from Exim Bank of China. He added, ''Our plan is to address the fast growing electric demand for local and foreign markets to increase
the coverage for per capita consumption''.

Ethiopia is working on different hydropower projects in order to meet local and foreign demands. Out of the projects the nation is carrying out, Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and Gibe III are the two main hydroelectric projects being carried out with 6,000 Megawatt
and 1,870 Megawatt respectively.

Azeb Asnake, Ethiopian Electric Power CEO, on her part said the project is going to be carried out in two phases, Geba-1 and Geba-2, with installed capacity of 220 and 165mw respectively. She added, Geba hydropower plant will play vital role to the country's efforts to meet the increasing demand for electricity.

Awarding the project to local and foreign companies is aimed at increasing capability of local companies and will contribute to knowledge and technology transfer, she furthered.

Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, Xie Xiaoyan, also reflected his view saying Ethiopia has a huge potential in hydropower and appreciated the efforts being exerted to develop and properly utilize this potential for the development of the country.

He further commented, ''I think the hydraulic model test is the first time such any test takes place in Ethiopia. It shows the Chinese determination to be a long term partnership with Ethiopia''.

Sur Construction Plc’s General Manager also commented on the occasion saying the joint ventures would help building capability of local contractors and that it would save the nation its hard currency.

ASource: Ethiopian News Agency